Module 5

Module 5

Module 5

Reflecting on our cultural scripts – Part 2

Although we mostly don’t think about it on a daily basis, most of us follow patterns of communication in the various groups and settings in which we socialize. These ‘scripts’ come from personality, cultural influences (national, family, age, profession etc.). For example, the way you greet someone in your family, a stranger, someone in a professional setting (work, school), follows certain patterns. How you behave in a classroom, in a meeting at work, at a family gathering follow general scripts (how you show agreement/disagreement, how / if you show affection, how you organize to speak).

Required Activity

  • (Adapted from Chavez) Choose ONE identity that you have had since birth or prior to the age of 5 years old (e.g., white, catholic, male, Canadian etc.) 
  • Think about how this identity manifests in your daily life and influences the ‘scripts’ that you use (you can choose a ‘script’ from one or several settings). What values, beliefs, worldviews are manifested in this identity and how do they ‘show up’ in your scripts? (e.g., born female, identify as female, cultural script dictated girls and women should defer to men, tend to do so in situations with a male authority figure (school) but do not follow that script in personal relationships)

For example:

  • If you were taught that individuals whose gender identity is female were taught that everyone is equal, how might you interpret the ‘script’ (and the attendant behavior, ways of interacting etc.) of those who were taught that someone whose gender identity is female should defer to those whose gender identity is male, and that there is a hierarchy in interaction:
    • What might you learn from this person?
    • What assumptions / judgments might you make about this person? 
    • How might the context of your study abroad / intercultural exchange experience influence how much you ‘stick to your script’
    • How might you work effectively with this person?

Optional Activity


Listen to the following podcast: Conversations with people who hate me – Dylan Marron – Free on iTune – July 2019, Empathy is not endorsement (12 minutes)


Asynchronous Engagement
  • Using your preferred method of reflection, create a ‘diary’ entry that reflects on what you learnt from the activity 
  • Choose ONE idea / thought to share on the group discussion board
  • Read and comment on TWO entries of your peers (this can be a comment or a question)
Synchronous Engagement
  • Using your preferred method of reflection, choose ONE idea / thought to share with your peers (e.g., you could give a brief oral presentation, or share a photo montage, or a picture you’ve drawn or a song you wrote) that reflects on what you learnt from the activity 
  • Be ready in the ‘live session’ to respond to and ask questions of your peers