Essay title: Religion
Social episodes are the repetitive components of the daily events that we partake in. They are the interactions sequences that repeat over and over and over again, like you are in the twilight zone. The way we communicate with each other daily eventually becomes predictable when we associate with that person and are exposed to that person daily. Even in the case of people of different cultures interacting with one another, they all do so in predictable ways. They’re predictable because they way they are supposed to be participating is already structured, and therefore routine and predictable. Most people, considering they are normal like others, will go on their day with a great deal of predictability in what they are doing, how they do it, and with whom they are doing it. To every classification of a person, there is a routine that we ourselves could jot down, it is almost like each classification has an unwritten script. For example, a working mother might have the routine of, waking up, taking a shower, waking the husband up, starting breakfast, waking up the children, getting them dressed, finish breakfast and serve the family, get the kids in the car, drive them to school, drive to work, eat lunch, make phone calls, go to the bank, pick up the kids, go to the grocery store, make kids a snack, start making dinner with the husband, eat dinner, help kids with homework, get kids ready for bed, do some work, and then go to bed. We can see this script played out in movies all the time when mothers are being portrayed. The individuals who take part in the episodes will usually know what to expect from others and what is expected of them. This is so important because it helps us get through daily communication with one another and understand why someone may be happy of upset. When we are at home, we act the way we prefer to act and it is most likely dictated by how our parents acted when we were younger. And when we are in public, we know how we are supposed to act because it’s programmed within us because activities are repetitive, predictable, and routine. These social episodes also lay out for us how to interpret verbal and nonverbal symbols of the interactants. People know how to interpret the actions and intentions of others when it’s a social episode that they are familiar with, but when it comes to intercultural interaction, it becomes a little more difficult. Our culture shows us how to interpret the meanings and behaviors of social episodes one way, but another culture may tell their members to interpret the meanings and behaviors of social episodes another way. The interaction across cultures will become more ambiguous and the way people are expected to act is unpredictable. The social episodes are made up of five components, and all of the five play an important part in intercultural communication: cultural patterns, social roles, rules of interaction, interaction scenes, and interaction contexts. We will study social episodes and how they are used cross-culturally. More specifically, we will compare the Iranians and the American’s use of social episodes in the movie, Not Without My Daughter.
Cultural patterns are considered the way people are expected to behave, the shared judgments about what the world is and what it is supposed to be. The beliefs and values that we are all brought up with also influences the way we of a particular culture think about the world. Every culture will interpret what is happening and other’s behaviors differently depending on how their cultural patterns have taught them. A good example given in the book was about two students. One student was a Chinese student from Hong Kong and the other an Australian student, both leading similar lives as students, but would interpret their social episodes a little bit differently. The way the Chinese student perceived his social episode was through his values, which were based on collective good, community, and acceptance of authority. Whereas, the Australian student would base his social episodes on self confidence, competition, and pleasure he might gain from the interactions he participated in. People become who they are by what they were taught and exposed to when they were younger.
Betty’s husband was a nice man when they were living in America. He was affectionate and understanding. However, when he got to Iran he was quickly influenced by his family and his surroundings to go back to his role as a dominant, uncaring husband. He behaved nicely in America because that is what he was surrounded by and that was what was expected of him. When he got to Iran, he repeatedly beat Betty because he knew he could get away with it. His values changed or were better hidden before because he knew