interpersonal communication is a course that kind of gives students an introduction to thinking deeper about what communication means the big question in the class is what's at stake for people to do things and what would happen if you wouldn't do this or anything I think that many students come into the class thinking that it's a it's a prescriptive class where we teach you how to be you know how to give a better job interview stuff like that and at the end of the day we might well do that but we actually set out to get students to think about or to question their kind of assumptions about the way communication works in everyday life I definitely am glad I take this class because it does allow me to see like the way people communicate in different cultures and not only does it show you the nuances of cultural values and doors also not just another boring luxury class I think it's a really fun class we learned about jokes we learn about sarcasm we learn about swearing I enjoy reading students work they do out in the field thinking lots of research original research which is quite rare for a one-year level class and if it makes this cause very we need so students get to study their own friend groups look at people that they care about and think about how communication works in their daily lives and then I think that the text gives a lot of really cool examples and not all students can relate to all of the examples but at some point there is at least one case study that a student will read and they'll really become engaged with and really liked it so a lot of our students like thinking about how men and women communicate differently because it allows them to think about things that are related to their own daily lives and how communication works


  1. Interpersonal Communication: A Cultural Approach
    Indiana University Department of Anthropology

    CREDITS:  GenEd, S&H, and COLL (CASE) S&H Breadth of Inquiry
    SMALL CLASSES:  24 max.
    Interpersonal Communication (ANTH-A122) introduces the study of communication, culture, identity, and power.  We study how people use everyday conversation to create the world they live in.  

    We discuss such real-world topics as:

    • Power and roles in a college fraternity
    • Facebook, YouTube, and text messaging
    • Male and female communication styles
    • Clothing, smoking, and cars in high school 
    • Saying hello around the world
    • Slang and swearing
    • Language on athletic teams
    • Communication in deaf communities
    • The language of law school classes
    • And more!

    ANTH-A122 looks across cultures 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.  We also examine 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. 

    ANTH-A122 Interpersonal Communication classes are a lively mix of discussion, small group activities, informal student presentations, lecture, and multimedia examples.  Together we will read excerpts from real experts and learn to use communication and performance theory to analyze others' interpersonal interactions. Along the way, you will better understand how your own interactions with friends, family, teammates, and others are connected to broader questions of power and social identity.  We will also learn to do original, project-based research to describe and analyze everyday life.  Past projects have studied such “real life” interactions as friends hanging out in a residence hall, a Bible study group, a sorority meeting, a pre-game meeting with a sports coach, and a dinner with family. As you learn how communication impacts your life and the lives of others, you’ll also practice critical thinking, research, writing, and presentation skills that prepare you for more advanced coursework in many disciplines.

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