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COMM 330 FINAL EXAM: SPRING 2022 (250 pts)

Due Online via Turnitin on Friday, Dec 16 by 11:59 PM

The final exam covers chap 6-10 from our textbook. The final exam handout, course key/concepts list, and submission link are available under module “Assignments handouts and submission links.”


  • From the list below, select and answer 5 questions you feel most comfortable with.For each question you answer, indicate the corresponding number.
  • There is an optional bonus question (10 pts). However, I strongly recommend that you take advantage of it if you want to improve your grade.
  • This is an open book, take-home exam. Answer each question carefully and thoughtfully.
  • As this is a take-home exam, you must draw from course materials, texts, readings, etc. to support and back-up your answers. DO NOT CITE FROM THE POWERPOINT SLIDES! DO NOT CITE WIKIPEDIA! For each question, cite properly from our main textbook. Feel free to draw from outside scholarly materials such as texts from other courses, the library, etc. At least 2 quotes/citations are required for each question. All the materials/texts/readings used must be cited properly using APA style. 
  • Include a references page for all the materials/texts/readings used in your paper.
  • Your answer for each essay question should be 1 to 2 pages double-spaced AND NO MORE! This is a requirement for the maximum page count and you should not exceed this! Failure to fulfill this requirement will result to points deduction for each extra page.
  • Make sure you define and explain the key concepts/theories you are applying/discussing. Show me that you understand the key concepts/theories and explain why you believe the concepts/theories you choose is the most appropriate one to answer the selected question. Use the readings for definitions and to back-up your claims.
  • For each essay question, make sure to include appropriate specific examples/illustrations.
  • All papers should be thoroughly edited, proofed, and formatted following the APA citation and referencing system before submission. The format should be 12 pt., Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins all around, no extra spacing between paragraphs and headings. Excessive typographical and usage errors will result in lower grades.
  • Each essay question is worth 50 pts. The essay will be graded based on both content and format.
  • The “plan ahead” and “back up your data” clause: Technical problems with your computer are not an acceptable excuse for not submitting your work on time. Start working on your exam ahead of the deadline and save your file frequently
  • As a friendly reminder, there will be no extension on the deadline for this final exam. To refresh your memory, see syllabus policies on make up/late work policy on p. 8.


From the list below, select and answer 5 questions you feel most comfortable with. Each essay is worth 50 pts. There is an optional bonus question (10 pts). However, I strongly recommend that you take advantage of it if you want to improve your grade. Your answer FOR EACH ESSAY QUESTION SHOULD BE AT LEAST 1 TO 2 PAGES DOUBLE-SPACED AND NO MORE. Each essay response should be written well, drawing on specific examples and citing course readings to back-up claims, analysis, and definitions. Use APA style for your citation.

Question 1 (50 pts)

In New Mexico, tourists seek “authentic” and “traditional” Native American art work of tribal communities such as Pueblos and Navajo just because of their fascination with different and exotic cultures. However, these tourists don’t care about the realities surrounding the production of these cultural artifacts. In fact, they are unaware of the harsh working conditions experienced by the Native American community who produces these products that they consume. Instead, these tourists are only interested in enjoying the festivity through the consumption of products that satisfy their desire for experiences.

Select a key concept/theory from the list below to explain how these tourists’ consumption behaviors and attitudes vis-à-vis the Native American culture contributes to the rise of capitalism and the exploitation of minority cultures. Make sure to provide examples/illustrations to support your arguments.

  • Commodification of culture
  • Fetishization
  • Spectacle
  • Exoticization of the other
  • Cultural appropriation
  • Neoliberalism

Question 2 (50 pts)

Ben, a European- American man, and Kenzo, a Japanese -American man, work together at a company. Recently, they experienced a conflict in their office during the board meeting. Immediately after the conflict, Ben approached Kenzo to assert his opinions and told him with a somehow frustrated tone of voice that they needed to talk about what just happened at the meeting to solve the problem. However, looking at Ben with a somehow smiling face, Kenzo told him that he thinks it is not appropriate for the two of them to talk about the problem. Instead, Kenzo suggested that for the sake of maintaining a good work relationship they should wait on the manager to solve the problem. Following this conversation, Ben feels frustrated because Kenzo never expressed his feelings with words, while Kenzo thinks Ben was too expressive about his feelings.

First, select one key concept/theory of micro-framework intercultural conflict from the list below to discuss the cultural differences between Ben and Kenzo’s approach to conflict. Second, discuss how intercultural praxis can serve as a tool to solve this conflict.

  • Cultural orientations
  • Communication styles
  • Facework
  • Situational factors

Question 3 (50 pts)

Select a movie/series/show of your choice and analyze it by addressing each of the following questions:

  1. Who is the producer/author? Who created the message? Who is the audience?
  2. How are minority or non-dominant groups represented (in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.)? What are the cultural messages conveyed by such representations?
  3. Relying on Stuart Hall’s 3 modes of reading (dominant, negotiated, and oppositional), explain what is your own mode of reading of this movie/series/show?
  4. Relying on culture jamming, provide at least one alternative way to challenge any negative portrayal of minority or non-dominant group you identified in the movie/series/show.

Question 4 (50 pts)

Mubarak is a young Muslim international student from Saudi Arabia studying Business at CSUSM. Cody is a young Christian white-American studying communication at CSUSM. The following scenario happened during their first online meeting for their group presentation project in COMM 330:

Mubarak: “Hi everyone, my name is Mubarak, I am a junior majoring in Business. Nice to meet you all!”

Cody: “Hi. By the way, where are you from?”

Mubarak: “I am an international student from Saudi Arabia.”

Cody: “oh oh, so I guess you’re Muslim, right?

Mubarak: “Yes, I am a Muslim, why does it matter?”

Cody: “Oh hell yes, it matters to me as a Christian. I just wanna make sure that I’m not mingling with some ‘terrorist’ for this class project.”

Mubarak: “Why would you think of me as a terrorist, just because I am an Arab Muslim? That’s so offensive!”

Cody: “what? That is not offensive at all. If you’re not a terrorist, so why are you getting defensive all the sudden? I just wanna make sure that I am safe.”

First, select a key concept/theory from the list below to explore this intercultural conflict. Second, relying on the six points of entry of intercultural praxis, explore the intercultural conflict at stake and discuss how intercultural praxis can serve as a tool to solve this conflict. 

  • Religious fundamentalism
  • Oppositional metaphors
  • Xenophobia
  • In-groups vs. out-groups
  • Prejudice, ethnocentrism, and racism
  • Islamophobia

Question 5 (50 pts)

The United States of America is said to be a country of migrants. In fact, to the exception of Native Americans who are the first inhabitants, all other racial/ethnic groups (Whites, Asians, Blacks, Latinx, etc.) became part of the U.S. either through voluntary or involuntary migration. This migration encompassed movement such as colonization, slavery, etc. However, over the past years, many people from minority groups have been subject to discrimination in multiple ways. For instance, they have been labeled as “non-Americans.” Likewise, some people have even been told “go back to Africa,” “go back to Latin America,” or “go back to Asia.”

Relying on the course materials, select one key concept/theory from the list below to promote an image of the United States of America that celebrates cultural diversity and inclusion of people from all racial/ethnic groups. Make sure to provideexamples/illustrations to support your arguments.

  • Pluralism
  • Melting pot
  • Intercultural activism
  • Social justice
  • Intercultural alliance

Question 6 (50 pts)

Mr. Brown is a European American marketing manager of a branch of Starbucks coffee in the U.S. whereas Mr. Diego is an Argentinian marketing manager of a branch of Starbucks coffee in Argentina. They are working together on a joint U.S./Argentinian project to expand Starbucks business in Argentina. The two business men agree to meet over a casual dinner at Mr. Brown’s house to discuss the project.

Mr. Brown calls Mr. Diego who is visiting from Argentina and asked him to show up at 6:00 PM at his place for the meeting. However, Mr. Diego shows up at 6:30 PM instead. Mr. Brown somehow jokingly told Mr. Diego “Oh you’re finally here? I was worrying and thought something had happened since you didn’t contact me to inform me that you might be late.” Mr. Diego replied: “Oh come on, it’s just 6:30 PM. Showing up at an appointment after 30 minutes, it’s not a big deal in my country.”

Then, Mr. Brown offered Mr. Diego a drink and told him that dinner will be served soon. After a couple of minutes, someone knocked on the door. Andy, Mr. Brown’s son said: “daddy, daddy pizza is here.” Mr. Diego looking at Mr. Brown somehow surprised told him: “Oh so your wife didn’t cook dinner? This is strange!”

During dinner, Mr. Diego noticed that Mr. Brown and all his family (wife and son) were eating with them. Surprised, Mr. Diego turned to Mr. Brown and said: “I thought this was supposed to be a business dinner?” Mr. Brown replies: “Yes, it is.” Then they discussed the project at the dinner table while eating along with Mr. Brown’s family. 

Finally, after dinner Mr. Brown asks Mr. Diego. So, are you ready to sign the contract? Mr. Diego replies: “No, I think I will need more time to think about this project. I will contact you soon.”

Assuming these two managers are representative of their respective cultures (Mr. Brown US American culture vs. Mr. Diego Argentinian culture), use Hofstede’s cultural dimensions to explore the cultural differences and challenges of working in multicultural teams?

Question 7 (50 pts)

Over the past years, there has been a migratory movement at the U.S.-Mexico border known as the Central American migrant caravans. These caravans are composed of migrants from mainly all-over Latin America (such as Mexico, Honduras, Argentina, etc.), but also other parts of the world (such as Haiti and Africa) fleeing various types of violence and abuse to seek refuge in the U.S. through asylum as well as better living conditions for their families. However, these caravans have been subject to a controversial debate, particularly under President’s Trump administration who has referred to these migrants with derogatory terms such as “criminals,” “drug dealers,” etc. In their attempt to stop migrants’ from entering the U.S. territory, the Trump administration took a variety of initiatives, including but not limited to: a project of building a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, putting children in cages, separating families, detention centers, etc. 

Relying on the course materials, select one key concept/theory from the list below to discuss the controversy about the caravans and provide suggestions for improving the realities surrounding the experiences of migrants at the U.S. Mexican border. Make sure to provide examples/illustrations to support your arguments.

  • Immigration industrial complex
  • Xenophobia
  • Push-Pull theory
  • World-systems migration
  • Social justice
  • Intercultural activism
  • Intercultural alliance

Question 8 (50 pts)

On October 31st of each year, people all over the place in the U.S. celebrate Halloween. While attending a virtual Halloween party with the other girls from her CSUSM sorority, Anita a young white female student studying Communication at CSUSM noticed that all her four female white friends were adorning costumes from various minority cultures:

Benita adorned a “Queen of Native-American tribe.”

Candy was dressed as a “Japanese Geisha.”

Daisy was dressed as the “Day of the Dead Señorita.”

Ezmie was dressed as a “Black African Queen with Afro hairstyle.”

She called all her friends out about their white privilege and told them that their costumes were inappropriate and offensive to various cultural minorities and more specifically Native-Americans, Asian people, Latinx people, and Black people. However, her friends laughed back at her and said that she was being too hypersensitive. Below are some of their replies:

Benita: “Come on girl. Don’t be so serious. We are just trying to have fun during Halloween!”

Daisy: “There is nothing wrong with that. That’s part of pop culture and people sell these costumes everywhere. So, they must be consumed!” 

Select one key concept/theory from the list below to discuss why it is problematic to adorn such costumes in Halloween and discuss what should be done to help these CSUSM students become culturally aware and responsible about their consumption behaviors.

  • Pop culture
  • Culture of capitalism
  • Commodification of culture
  • Fetishization
  • Spectacle
  • Exoticization of the other
  • Cultural appropriation
  • Cultural competency

Question 9 (50 pts)

Last year, America underwent the electoral process of the 46th president of the United States of America. Donald Trump was the republican candidate while Joe Biden was the democrat one. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people have voted not only in-person, but also via mail. Although Biden was proclaimed president in January 21, tensions are still running high in the country about the electoral process. According to various media outlets (such as CNN, MSNBC, FOX, etc.), this election is the most controversial one in the history of the USA and demonstrates how political polarization runs deep in America.

Relying on the course materials, select one key concept/theory from the list below to discuss the political turmoil the USA is going through following the election process. Also, explain how intercultural communication can serve as a tool to help rebuild the United States of America as a unified country.  

  • Media
  • Oppositional metaphors
  • Managing ambiguity
  • Invitational rhetoric
  • Cooperative argument
  • Social justice
  • Intercultural activism
  • Intercultural alliance  

Question 10 (50 pts)

Think about the most recent or difficult conflict you had with someone recently. Briefly describe the conflict.

Relying on the course materials, discuss the following:

  1. How did culture or cultural differences shape the conflict?
  2. How do you think intercultural praxis might help you address this conflict effectively?

Bonus Question (10 pts)

Over the past couple of months, we have been exposed to various cultural celebrations and festivities in the USA including, but not limited to: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Such celebrations have led to the consumption of various products among which food, clothes, media (movies, songs, advertisements, etc.), decorations, adornment, and so forth. Our consumption (or lack thereof) of these cultural products reveals something about how we experience the cultural of capitalism in terms of the culture we produce/sell/purchase as well as our cultural experiences in everyday life.

Relying on what you’ve learned in this class about the culture of capitalism, write a paragraph to discuss your own consumption behaviors in relationship to one of these cultural celebrations and festivities (Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas). Indeed, reflect on how you can promote economic responsibility in your consumption behaviors.

Grading Rubrics

Each essay is worth 50 pts and will be graded based on the following criteria:

  • Quality of content (good arguments, claims, and illustrations/examples)
  • Key concepts/theories well defined/explained and properly applied
  • Course materials/textbook/readings/texts included
  • At least 2 quotes/citations included
  • Illustrations/Examples provided
  • Essay length of 1to 2 pages double-spaced and no more
  • Essay properly formatted, edited, etc. 
  • Proper APA citation style  
  • References page included

Please feel free to contact me if you have any question.


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