Communication and Culture | Interpersonal Communication
C122 | ALL | Robinson,J

CMCL-C 122: Interpersonal Communication
Class Number: 6831-6848, 13707, 13708

Class times vary; see Schedule of Classes

Fulfills College S&H Requirement

Course Director: Jennifer Robinson
Office: C2 275
Phone: 855-4607

Interpersonal Communication (C122) is an introduction to the study
of communication, culture, identity, and power.  We particularly
study how people use everyday conversation to create the world they
live in.  The course takes a cross-cultural approach, looking at
communicative practices ranging from North Africa to North America,
from 17th-century Quakers to a contemporary Deaf Church, and from
grade school students to college undergraduates.  The course
examines the language used every day by Indiana University students,
including slang, verbal play, gendered language, and the academic
language of business and law schools.  Past students have said that
this course changed the way they view the world, allowing them to
see patterns in their conversations and lives that they had never
before considered.

Interpersonal Communication classes are a lively mixture of
discussion, student presentations, lecture, and multimedia
examples.  Students read excerpts from scholarly texts and learn to
use communication and performance theory not only to analyze others'
interpersonal interactions but also to become more aware of how
their own interactions with friends, family, lovers, and others are
connected to broader questions of power and social identity.  Each
student does original ethnographic research on the interpersonal
themes discussed in class.  This research includes recording and
analyzing the “real life” interactions of a social group of their
choice.  Students make informal presentations of their research to
the class.  The ethnography project provides one of the few
opportunities for original primary research at the introductory
level. Throughout the course, students learn concepts that allow
them to understand better how communication practices impact their
lives while at the same time they practice critical thinking,
reading, research, writing, and presentation skills that prepare
them for more advanced coursework in many disciplines.