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MAIR Core Courses

MAIR Core Courses


MAIR 200. Concepts of Intercultural Communication
Faculty: Donna Stringer and Francisca Trujillo-Dalbey
This course will review the major concepts, theories, and models that contribute to a general process description of communication across cultures, and it will consider how cultures pattern communication. This work is intended to provide a vocabulary and framework for analysis and discussion throughout the program. Important topics in this course include: The dynamics of face-to-face interaction, conflict styles across cultures, societal influences on ethnocentrism and racism, cultural value orientations, nonverbal dimensions of communication, language interaction, stereotypes, relationship development, and intercultural adaptation. (3 units)

MAIR 201. Ethnicity and Intergroup Relations             
Faculty: Havva Houshmand and Valerie White
Assuming an intercultural communication perspective on ethnic relations, this course will examine group theory with particular emphasis on dynamics common in domestic multicultural contexts. Topics include an examination of research on ethnic identity development, cross-cultural psychology, prejudice and stereotyping, and interaction patterns specific to particular ethnic groups. It will also consider models for managing diversity at the organizational level. Participants will review models for multicultural group behavior and learn approaches to facilitation that are applicable in both small groups and organizations. (3 units)

MAIR 202. Research I
Faculty: Michael Osmera and Muneo Yoshikawa
In intercultural relations, practitioners face a crucial question: How do I know what is real? This is the central issue in what is called "ontology," and intercultural researchers must be familiar with alternatives to the positivist research tradition in arriving at answers to the question. This course will explore, through a phenomenological perspective, cultural differences in the search for meanings. Symbolic interactionism and ethnomethodology provide a foundation for exploring nonwestern ways of insight about human experience, via the paradigms of Consciousness, Transcendence, and Connectedness. Nonwritten channels for expression of learning will often be explored. (2 units)

MAIR 220. Advanced Intercultural Communication Theory
Faculty: Judith Martin and Miriam Sobre-Denton
This course examines theories from the field of social science that have been influential in the development of intercultural communication concepts, with an emphasis on the contributions of constructivism. It provides an overview of major paradigms in scientific thought that are mirrored in social scientific theories, and of where intercultural communication fits into the scheme. We will review classic sources in the field of intercultural communication and examine current writings that pertain to the future of the field. We will specifically explore the body of theory that underlies the planning of programs and conducting of communication research-interpersonal, small group, and intercultural. We will also generally consider ethical questions that arise in intercultural encounters, in teaching and training, and in the conduct of research, especially across cultures. (3 units)

MAIR 221. Research II
Faculty: Laura Bathurst and Bruce La Brack
In this course, both quantitative and qualitative research tools will be examined for their usefulness in the intercultural context. Exercises and readings will consider surveying, sampling, content analysis, depth interviewing, participant observation, personal document analysis, and unobtrusive methods, with equal attention paid to the disadvantages and advantages of each. Students will experience using a range of methods and designing research plans which address issues of bias and ethics as well as matching research strategies to the research question. (3 units)

MAIR 222. Process of Change
Faculty: Christopher Deal and Barbara Schaetti
In the process of individual identity development, culture plays a primary role. This course will systematically examine the intrapersonal impact of cultural adaptation by reviewing theories of change, ethnic identity development, acculturation, and cultural marginality. Special topics include: loss and change, models of transition, adaptation, and acculturation, and culture shock and re-entry as developmental processes. (2 units)

MAIR 240. Leadership and Adult Learning
Faculty: Elizabeth Kirkhart and Adair Linn Nagata
This course provides an opportunity for learners to explore theories of leadership and adult learning from a developmental and intercultural perspective. First, leadership theories amenable to use across cultures are examined, including Jean Lipman-Blumen's connective leadership model and Belenky, Bond & Weinstock's work on community and developmental leadership. Global leadership and multiple intelligences frameworks are explored from a critical intercultural perspective. Second, the course explores theories and practices of adult and transformative learning, again within a critical framework informed by intercultural concerns. Students practice translation and interpretation of selected models for multicultural and intercultural contexts. (3 units)

MAIR 241. Change Agentry
Faculty: Janet M. Bennett, Steven Dowd, and Nagesh Rao
Managing the transition process for people and human systems in an intercultural context requires expertise in planned change, innovation theory, and systems diagnosis and intervention. This course will review the nature of change in communities and cultures with special attention to social action research and organization development. It will also involve students in both critiquing and designing programs for planned change. (3 units)

MAIR 242. Culture in the Organizational Context
Faculty: Larry Kirkhart and George Renwick
The impact of culture in the organization occurs at multiple levels.  Employees as well as clients may come from a variety of domestic or international cultures to participate in an organizational culture, which in itself requires adaptation. The interplay of cultural patterns affects management and leadership styles, decision-making, negotiation, conflict mediation, and team-building. This course provides an overview of modern organizational theory with a view to extracting principles and methods, which are relevant to this multicultural context. (2 units)

MAIR Elective Courses

MAIR 223. Personal Leadership
Faculty: Adair Linn Nagata
This course focuses on exploring what it means to be a practicing interculturalist, specifically the internal states and external behaviors that promote appropriate and ethical interactions when working across cultural boundaries in professional and personal contexts. The course has three parts, sequenced over three residencies. Topics include the basic framework of Personal Leadership (two principles and six practices), crafting a vision of oneself as an effective interculturalist, and real-time application of the self-reflective process known as the Critical Moment Dialogue. (2 units)

MAIR 260. Intercultural Context of Training
Faculty: Janet M. Bennett
This course explores the impact of culture on training design. Through application of specific frameworks from adult learning, instructional design, and student development, participants learn specific strategies for modifying training to take culture into account. (3 units; offered only in Spring)

MAIR 291. Independent Study
The graduate independent study is a self-directed examination of an advanced topic in intercultural relations. An independent study proposal must be developed by the MAIR student, and approved by the academic advisor and the instructor prior to registration. (1-4 units)