Tag Archives: master

Master in Communication Series Part 3: What am I actually studying?

Months go by, and my Swedish academic adventure continues non stop. This time, I’d like you to find out more about another course I’ve been attending since January. First of all, do I really have to remind you once again what I’m actually studying?


Seriously? Okay… just for this time, I promise myself that’s the last!

I’m joking of course. Here we are: I’m studying a Master’s Programme in Communication at the University of Gothenburg.

The course I’m gonna talk about is called ‘Communication among professionals’. The focus is obviously on the term ‘profession’ and ‘professional’, keeping always in mind the fundamental role that communication plays within the field of the organizational domain. When I say organizational, I mean that we should consider everything that happens within the borders of any sort of organization, company or whatever: a cluster of people working together and, presumably, belonging to different positions. These positions entail a diverse knowledge owned by specific people at various levels of the organization; of course, who is entitled of the highest positions owns more power and different knowledge than whom has a lower position in the organizational hierarchy.

As it is assumed, communication has carried out through different channels, such as written forms, oral ones, non-verbal, visual or digital too. When communication occurs within a workplace context, most probably is framed in a metaphorical container that is known as ‘discourse’. Almost every kind of professional domains has its own discourse: for instance, medical discourse, scientific discourse, legal discourse, and the list goes on. If you happen to be in an hospital, perhaps you’ll listen to workers conversations, while queueing or waiting in the hallway or whatsoever situation; well, in this case, medical discourse don’t always occur: it may be normal listen briefly to two nurses talking about their family or their friends’ issues; as well, it may be normal listen to the same two nurses talking about patients’ conditions or medical treatments: in that case, we can claim that we’re in front of the so called medical discourse.

Some days ago, our class, divided into small groups, had to make a ‘professional’ presentation of a case study, pretending to be consultants: the aim of this activity saw each group presenting a case of boat rocking to the ‘top management’ (our professor and the rest of the classmates, N.d.R). What is boat rocking, are you wondering? No problem, just read this definition: “the boat-rocker is one who express dissent – in a direct, straightforward manner – within the boundaries of an organization” (Redding, 1985, p.246). The case was about a conflict that was rising between a frontline worker and her middle-managers within a healthcare provider of in-home services. I personally found this task being really interesting, and this will surely lead me to deepen the topic concerning boat rocking, as well as the one known as whistleblowing: the case of Edward Snowden reminds you anything, doesn’t it?

Waiting for new tasks and assignments, and new stories regarding my Master’s Programme to tell you!



Featured image: http://thebusinesstherapist.com/2011/10/corporate-communication-skills/

Picture 1: https://news.clearancejobs.com/2013/03/07/mastering-professional-communication-in-a-defense-industry-office/

Picture 2: http://www.tomppro.com/course-cat/people/communication/


Master in Communication Series Part 2: What am I actually studying?

Hej! How are you doing? Hopefully fine. If you try to ask me the same question, I’d say I’m fine too, and that I’m glad to be back to Gothenburg after spending holidays in Italy. Anyway… I’d say also that I’m excited to start a new semester. Remember what I’m studying, right? For those of you do not recall it, have a quick look at here or let me spoil it instead: I’ve been studying a Master’s Programme in Communication at the University of Gothenburg.

Few days ago a new course has started – it seems is gonna be really interesting, and I would add very intense as well. What am I talking about? Exactly about that: Multimodal Communication.


Source: http://praacticalaac.blogspot.se/2012/09/speak-up.html

What is Multimodal Communication? Bearing in mind the definition of Communication that I’ve already given (don’t let me spoil something again!), I think it’s useful to know also that when we interact with other people, we basically want to reach a goal – as well as the others communicating with us. There can be some means and processes involved in this activity: means going on within the interaction itself and also within ourselves. Means like turn management, feedbacks or sequencing along with the capability to process in our mind what and how to communicate, and to change/shape our thoughts, when needed.


Source: http://research.uiowa.edu/communicating-ideas-workshop

If we shrink our attention to the interaction between humans, and especially regarding face-to-face communication, we can claim that we’re coping with… multimodal communication. Two or more than two modalities are used when we talk face-to-face. Modalwhat?

Let’s put it in this way: we have sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Right? All of these are modalities, or it’s better to say sensory modalities: when I speak, the receiver is using and/or combining two or more sensory modalities in order to process and interpret my message. The other way around, when I speak I also can use two or more modalities, in this case we consider them production modalities: I use my voice, I can use gestures, I can touch, and so on.

The effects of the multimodality can vary and depend on the interactions: the message can be reinforced and the overall comprehension improved; the message can be considered more dynamic; relations can be strengthened and conversations regulated. However, it may happen to make the message unclear as well, or even confusing and disturbing.


Source: https://www.trainerbubble.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Communicating-Difficult-Messages_web-680×255.jpg

Headache? Naah, come on! Of course there would be a lot to mention, but you’re lucky: I can’t say more for the moment, as my course has just begun…

Featured image: https://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/bigstock_Focus_On_Communication_mangolanguages.jpg

Master in Communication Series Part 1: What am I actually studying? Find it out…

Some days ago I took my third exam since the beginning of my Swedish academic experience. As you probably remember, I’m attending a Master’s Programme in Communication at the University of Gothenburg.

I’m almost sure that many of you after reading the lines above have wondered: Communication… hmm, okay, but what does he actually mean by saying that?

Am I right?

Okay, let’s put it in this way. What do you have in mind when I say the word ‘Communication’? Words – spoken and written -, messages, channels… then? If it’s not enough, let me introduce this definition: communication is the transmission of a certain content from a sender to a receiver using a certain expression and medium within a certain environment and with a certain purpose/function (Allwood). What if I missed some other elements in this definition? When we communicate, we not only exchange messages, rather we kind of shape our conversation and strongly contribute to make it effective and meaningful: we try to interpret and fully understand what our interlocutor is telling us, and the same is for him/her. When we communicate, we share the creation of messages and meanings.

So now, more or less, you have a sort of idea of what communication is. Good. This is the basis, the milestone everyone studying Communication must bear in mind. Of course, there are other fundamental concepts to add to the broad umbrella term that Communication is, but for the moment I’d say that it’s good enough that you know what you’ve read so far.

Now, the second important step to take is knowing about Interpersonal communication, which is one of the main courses of my programme. Interpersonal communication is a form of communication that involves a small number of individuals who are interacting exclusively with one another and who therefore have the ability both to adapt their messages specifically for those others and to obtain immediate interpretations from them. (Lustig & Koester). I guess that it’s pretty clear.

Another big topic of my programme has its foundation in communication, of course, but in that case there’s a new element that we very often hear and, likewise, we may have some doubts when it comes to defining it. I’m talking about culture. So, try to mix culture and communication, and you have the subject I’m referring to.

Intercultural communication. Exactly.

Technically we are animals, aren’t we? However, we have some differences which make… the difference. We live in a nature surrounded by artifacts and traces made by humans, we have some behaviours and thoughts that shape our view of the reality and the world. Artifacts, traces in nature, behaviours and thoughts: similar patterns in all human societies. Here we are: culture. So what is intercultural communication? We may define it as such: communication between people with different cultural background. Sounds easy and not so complicated but… you must remember that when it comes to dealing with intercultural communication, there are four main aspects that are essential: production (bodily communication, vocabulary), understanding/interpretation (important background information), interaction (turn management, feedback, sequences e.g. greetings, forms of address) and context (attitudes and values, history, religion, etc.).

Intercultural communication’s aim is to disclose the differences as well as the similarities among the human beings. We all are part and share the same planet, right? So, we all may contribuite to cooperate and overcome conflicts and misunderstendings. It’s not utopia… it’s a matter of learning how to be interculturally competent. 


Source: http://www.nessunluogoelontano.it/3821 

Okay okay, class for today is over! Jokes apart, if you are interested in pursuing your studies in the field of communication and you’re especially considering to become a student at Gothenburg University, well, now you have an idea of the main subjects you’ll face. I didn’t mention other courses, likewise important; but no worries, I’m not going to put an end to the idea of sharing my academic experience.

A presto.

Featured image: http://www.notredameonline.com/resources/intercultural-management/intercultural-communication-in-the-global-workplace/#.WE3IbfnhDcd