In the course “Understanding Russians: Contexts of Intercultural Communications": we will: 1) Build skills in the analysis of the intercultural communication process using Russian-Western communication as an example. 2) Apply the knowledge of interrelations between different contexts of communication (cultural, institutional, professional, social, interpersonal, etc.) to the cultural history and national psychology of Russians. The purpose of the course is to provide the students with a broad overview of the basic principles governing the past, the present and the future interactions between Russia and the West, with a focus on the culture and national psychology of Russians and Western Europeans. For example, we will look at the cases when basic cultural values of Russians show up through the linguistic choices shaping language production which is consequently misattributed by Western partners. No matter what the language of intercultural communication is – Russian, or English – the meaning of many linguistic expressions may be reconstructed wrongly by the representatives of another culture. Some of the basic questions we will tackle are: • What are the concepts of culture that have the strongest influence on communication? • What are Russian basic cultural values and how they shape modern Russian consciousness? • What are the specific communication patterns of modern Russians, including those of public and electronic discourse? • What is important to know about communication with Russians in organizational contexts? Importantly, this course is NOT just a list of practical instructions of dos and don’ts of dealing with Russians. The course contains a substantial academic component introducing the key notions and concepts of the Theory of Communication, which will be extensively introduced throughout the first few modules of the course. These theoretical grounds will be further on used as a tool for analyzing the intercultural communications with Russians.
- Week 1 - Introduction to the Course
Dear Student, welcome to the first module of the course "Understanding Russians: Contexts of Intercultural Communication"! My name is Mira Bergelson and I will teach this class, assisted by Yulia Badryzlova, Tatiana Golubeva and the team of Coursera and HSE te...
- Week 1 - Intercultural Communication as an Academic Discipline
We want this course to be not only a learning experience, but a cultural journey full of discoveries and fun. We will begin by introducing the notion of Intercultural Communication. We will look at ICC as an academic field: have a glimpse of its history, look ...
- Week 2 - Culture in Intercultural Communication
This lecture will focus around Culture per se and the language we need to be able to discuss it. The more complex and less formalized is the subject of the discussion, the more crucial are its instruments. We will introduce various dimensions that are applica...
- Week 3 - Theory of Communication
In this week's lectures we will shift our focus, and will be looking at the basics of communication in order to apply them later to the Russian communication style. We hope you will find this information useful for understanding various motives that govern th...
- Week 4 - Culture’s Impact on Communication: Politeness
The lectures you'll see this week will be devoted to the linguocultural aspects of Politeness in Russian communication style and to other dimensions of Russian communication. We will meet an exciting new expert, Jennifer Eremeeva, an American author and blogge...
- Week 5 - Communication in Organizational Contexts
This week of the course is devoted to Russian communication in organizational contexts. Organizations are crucial: they shape culture and are shaped by culture. You will learn how Russian organizational culture developed throughout Russian history and how it i...
- Week 6 - Social Stratification and Occupational Cultures in Russia
he material covered in the remaining weeks of the class will contain less theory of intercultural communications and more information about contemporary Russia, its ways of life and their historic background. This week we will speak about the social stratifica...
- Week 7 - Interpersonal Communication
This week we will talk about the specific Russian features of interpersonal communication, communication across genders, and the generational discourse systems.Specifically, we will have a look at such issues as: friendship, dating, role of women; family struc...
- Week 8 - Culture as a Narrative
Sad to say, this is the last week of lectures in our course. And in this last week we present not factual data or charts or tables, but rather a narrative -- this time a narrative of Russian history in broad impressionistic strokes. We do believe in narratives...