Ultural Encounter Paper (Culture/Co-Culture)
The purpose of this paper is for you to examine a unique set of cultures and co-cultures. You will observe these cultures by riding the Los Angeles bus or train for 8-12 stops or at least 30 minutes one way. You may begin your trip in Malibu at the bus stop near the campus, or choose to go to another location to begin your journey. The bus and rail systems in Los Angeles are fairly extensive so you could easily use this assignment as a chance to explore or go to a local landmark or entertainment venue. If you are unfamiliar with the metro system please go to this site: default.asp for more information. The site will tell you about routes, fares, and even help you plan a specific route using the trip planner. Once you are on the bus or train, take notes on what you see, hear, and smell. DO NOT wear headphones because they will prevent you from fully experiencing what is happening around you.
When you return from your trip you will compose a four-to-five page, double spaced paper reflecting on your experience. Please describe the culture of the bus itself and identify and describe other cultures or co-cultures that you observed. Identify the route you took (where you got on and off of the bus) and how the culture changed during your ride. In your paper you should apply a minimum of two of the concepts we have examined in class so far and cite at least one outside source. Your outside source MUST be a peer reviewed communication journal or book (no websites, magazines, newspapers, or encyclopedias). Some additional issues that you might consider in your paper include:
1. What day and time did you ride? (this may determine if you were riding to or from work with people or going somewhere fun)
2. What was the area like where you got on the bus, what was it like where you got off?
3. Describe the people on the bus, what age ranges, ethnicities, and genders did you see? What languages did people speak?
4. How did people communicate on the bus? Did people talk to each other? Did they only talk to people they seemed to know or to anyone? Did they talk to the driver?
5. What nonverbal communication norms did you observe?
6. Were you able to identify different co-cultures on the bus? If so, how?
7. How did you know what to do or how to act on the bus?
8. Why do you think that most of the people were riding the bus with you that day? How do you know?