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Mass Communication 205

Introduction to Nonverbal Communication

Credits: 3

Length of Course: 14 weeks

Classroom Hours per Week: 4

Prerequisites: Mass Communication 110 or 130 and 12 credits

Corequisite: English 100

Text: The NonVerbal Communication Reader, Guerrero, DeVito and Hecht, and Intercultural Communication, Samovar and Porter

Course Description:

An exploration of communication behaviour focusing primarily on the nonverbal dimension of interpersonal communication, and emphasizing its cultural implications and its deployment in mass mediated communications. Topics include the relationship of spoken language to nonverbal communication, human versus animal communications, facial expression, body language, gesture, dress and environment. Three frames of reference which will guide our examination of these topics: how "face-to-face" interaction between individuals constructs cultural templates; how cultural "texts" and "contexts" mediate the relationship between individuals and societies in cross cultural communications; how actors, politicians, ad makers and other media producers deploy theatrical and technical strategies of interpersonal/nonverbal communication to generate transnational ideas.

Course Outline:

Week Topic
Week 1 Introduction: Nonverbal and Interpersonal Communication
Week 2 Language, Speech and Nonverbal Communication
Week 3 Facial Expressions
Week 4 The Body as Medium of Conversation
Week 5 Gesture and Environment as Nonverbal Communication and as Language
Week 6 Spatial (Proximic) and Tactile (Haptic) Communication
Week 7 Film
Week 8 Nonverbal Communication and Mass Media I: Entertainment
Week 9 Nonverbal Communication and Mass Media II: Politics
Week 10 Nonverbal Communication and Mass Media III: Advertising and Marketing
Week 11 Nonverbal Communication, Mass Media and the Construction of Global Metaphors I: Movies and the Culture of Celebrity
Week 12 Nonverbal Communication. Mass Media and the Construction of Global Metaphors II: People, Products, Spectacle
Week 13 Conclusion


Mid-term Exam 25%
Final Exam 25%
Research Proposal 25%
Participation and Assignments 25%


Jean Hebert, B.A. (British Columbia), M.A. (Simon Fraser)
Ian Chunn, B.A., M.A. (Toronto), B.Ed. (British Columbia)

Transferability: see