Project 2: Verbal/Non-verbal messages and Gender/Culture Effects
Watch a television show; choose your favorite sitcom (situation comedy or soap opera). If you don’t have one, choose a popular sitcom—any episode, not longer than 30 minutes. Make sure that the episode includes both men and women in significant roles and/or different social classes/ethnic origins. You should find a show that you can either record or access on-line as you will need to watch it a few times. All the networks have episodes online; e.g. ABC, NBC, CBS, or another resource of your choice.
Your task is to observe the nature of the verbal and non-verbal messages, particularly in terms of how gender affects the message and the relationship between senders and receivers. What is the role of culture in these differences?
Next, write a 4-5 page (double-spaced) critical analysis of the nature of gender differences in communication. How does gender impact on communication? How does ethnic diversity affect communication? How do women and men choose to make their points, to interact with others, to communicate effectively or ineffectively? You are expected to draw significantly upon the concepts presented in Chapters 4-9 (as supporting) of your text; you will probably find useful concepts from the earlier chapters as well.
Tip: From live communication, we continue on to “packaged” and standardized communication as shown on TV. A sitcom is usually a mirror of how society is engaging into communication. You are going to isolate scenes or a whole episode that gives you signals of verbal and nonverbal communication. So, you move from observation to critical interpretation of a standardized communication product.