Greetings Students of Intercultural Communication,
Each term the focus of students' independent library research changes based on the selected foci of the faculty teaching the sections and the term. In the past themes for research have been limited to China, Middle East, Indigenous People of the Americas, and other huge topics bound only by very broad geographic limits. Be sure you know the semester focus for your assigned literature review and enjoy the process of selecting a topic that really interests you within the boundaries of the assignment.
Some ways to select a topic is to look at your volunteer work, your major, and your interests. If you are majoring in Social Work, you might want to learn about family structures within one cultural subgroup of your limited geographic target; if you are interested in women's issues, you may want to know about self-help work or micro-lending, violence against women, child birth, marriage, rites of passage (circumcision is common still for many women in many parts of the world), or even dating and marriage rituals. If you are interested in history, you may want to understand one particularly difficult battle, era, presidency or dictator. If you volunteer to work with children's math tutoring or reading tutoring, perhaps you would be interested in education (primary, secondary, or even university opportunities as well as opportunities for men vs. women), teacher training, school buildings or subjects or the school day in the life of a child there. The most important thing to remember is to get something that really interests you as you do your research.
The reading, which is demanding, will be more engaging and this focus of interest and research may be something you wish to carry with you as you go to other classes or as you travel to other countries. Instead of being a "vacationing" person without direction, you may find yourself looking into the same topic of interest you researched for a different country to see how this country compares. The goal of the research assignment is to help you develop skills that allow you to answer some of your own questions and can help guide you when you have opportunities to further follow your interests and your loves.
Kathryn Kelly, Deborah Johnson, Debra Ricci and Alyssa Isaacs