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How we understand each other

Relationships, media and culture

Communication studies provide a fundamental understanding of why we communicate and how to understand each other. This is vital in any situation, from interpersonal relationships in a variety of settings (social, family, academic, and the workplace), to understanding intercultural communication and persuasive messaging.

Technology, on its own, does not cause this new way of relating to our emotions and other people. But it does make it easy.

Sherry Turkle

Considering communications

  • How do we communicate with society, family, peers, media, and how does this shape our self-perception?
  • What factors influence our communication with others?
  • How do we communicate in groups, and what are some strategies for effective group communication?
  • What effect does mobile technology (i.e. cellphones) have on communication?
  • Does social media actually make us more social?
  • Are we moving into a "surveillance society" where anyone can record the actions of others (i.e. rioters) on personal camera phones?
  • How does media, particularly journalism, frame events and influence its version of news on society?
  • Is there such a thing as "media effects", i.e. does watching violent programs make people more violent?
  • Are Canadians dominated by American culture (films, TV)?
  • How influenced are audiences by advertising, or PR "spin"?
  • What  types of communication are appropriate under which circumstances, and how does this differ across cultures?
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