SPHSC 308 Home Page

Student Objectives
Major Lecture Topics
Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences 308, Winter 2010, Social-Cultural Aspects of Communication

Monday, Wednesday 2:00 - 3:20, Eagleson Hall 001

Lesley B. Olswang, Ph.D.
Eagleson Hall 162 
Email:  lolswang@u.washington.edu

Teaching Assistant:
Michael Burns
Eagleson Hall 104
Email:  mburns@u.washington.edu

Course Description

The content of this course explores social-cultural aspects of communication and disabilities. Students will be encouraged to consider communication in context, and from this perspective, what it would be like to have and live with a disability and to work with someone with a disability. Students will be urged to examine their attitudes and beliefs about communication and disabilities from a social/cultural perspective. This course does not emphasize memorizing facts. Rather the course focuses on thinking about topics, analyzing and synthesizing ideas, reflecting on issues as they may impact individuals and groups. The course is designed to expose students to the following topics:

  • Definition of Communication and Context 
  • Situational Context -- Immediate Environment - Ethnography/Observation
  • Social-Interpersonal Context -- Systems Theory - Phenomenology/Interviewing 
  • Cultural Context -- Culture and Cultural Practices (including development of these practices)
  • Disablement -- International Perspective -- World Health Organization

The course content will be presented through lectures and assignments. The assignments include experiential learning activities and written projects. The experiential learning activities are designed to provide aspects of the course content through individual and group exercises.  The written assignments fulfill the UW Writing requirement.  The emphasis is on "professional/scientific" writing, as opposed to "creative" writing.  The syllabus and assignments are provided in detail through this Web site ("Syllabus" and "Assignments" links).  In addition, power point presentations are found under "Major Lecture Topics".