Intercultural Communication

The motives for the study of intercultural communication are personal growth, social responsibility, economic, and cross-cultural.  I personally think that it is important to learn not only about our own culture more deeply but to also learn about other people’s culture around the world.  Learning about other peoples lives and cultures can make us thankful for what we do have and maybe take for granted, I guess there could also be an aspect of what we don’t have either.  Personal growth ties into what I just previously had said.  As an individual, and as a people we can get a sense of other people’s culture and respect them and the ways that they live, even if it is very different.  Also if these people live in poverty or anything like that it might make us take initiative to get involved and help people around the world and here in the states.  Also we can become more educated in general by learning about other cultures.  I think social responsibility if a big part in learning about other cultures because once we learn about those other cultures and see what people do live and live without that might make us not focus on things that we might focus on now, but don’t really need to spend so much time worrying about it.  That could make us appreciate the things that we do have and maybe cut out the things that we don’t really need.  The economic motive doesn’t apply to me yet, or maybe any of us, but having knowledge of other cultures in the world and how people live could definitely benefit a business who needs new clients in different parts of the world.  By learning about someones culture a business can figure out what that culture values and doesn’t value and adapt their business to meeting those specific needs.  Cross-cultural and globalization is important because of the fact that indeed that phenomenon of cultural diversity is increasing.  America is already a melting pot like they say and I don’t see that decreasing at all in the near future.  Since this is likely to continue, probably forever, it would be important to know about other cultures just for the fact that we have a deeper sense of how a certain group of people live.

Alex Adamshick


Health and Social Dominance

Recall that in the documentary ‘Unnatural Causes: In Sickness and in Wealth’ we discovered that constant activation of the nervous system’s stress response wears down the body’s other systems, including the immune system. This results in higher rates of disease and earlier ages of death. When the mind is constantly exposed to the threat of uncertainty, the body is in a constant state of heightened stress response. You brain does not recognize a difference between the threat of a life threatening attack or the perpetual uncertainty of economic instability. This is compounded by other factors such as single parents, parents of large families, and the additional prejudices and inequality experienced by minority groups.

This has vast implications for the study of social dominance. It was also noted that those who experience the most social subordination in their jobs and in society at large are at greatest risk for disease and die the earliest. As compelling as this is, it’s not exactly news. We all know this is true and can clearly see it everywhere in our own lives.

However, one phenomenon addressed in the documentary that did shock me was covered in a study of early childhood socio-economic status and resistance to infectious illnesses later in adulthood. The findings of the study showed that a large predictor of immune efficacy against infection illnesses, such as the common cold, was simply your parent’s status as home owners during your earliest years. Those who reported parental home ownership during their earliest years of childhood showed the most resistance when exposed to the rhinovirus (aka, common cold.)

Even more surprising was the study’s finding that adults who did not own homes in early child hood but did later in adolescence, and even those who currently owned homes at the time of the study, were no more resistant to the viruses effects than those whose family’s did not own a home at all throughout childhood and adolescence. They also noted that while parental income and levels of education may have been contributing factors, the prevailing predictor was early home ownership.

I also understand from other readings that living in a home during childhood development leads to stable self-esteem throughout childhood, adolescence, and later life. It is also a reliable predictor of higher and more stable grade point averages throughout schooling and in college. All of these factors also contribute to greater health and satisfaction later in life as well as increased life expectancy.

Still, knowing all of those things previously, it was shocking to hear that improving life conditions after an initially rough start to life may not protect your health, especially the resilience of your upper respiratory health. Clearly, there is a critical period of early immune system development in which your environment has a profound impact on the health you will experience for the rest of life. This is a terribly sad realization to make when considering the photo set, “Where Children Sleep”…

Thankfully, there are great organizations working to improve the extreme inequalities of health we experience here in our country. The Center for Health Inequity of Louisville, Kentucky is among them, working to identify and address the impacts of socioeconomic inequalities and public health.

-Laura Collins

Psychosom Med. 2004 Jul-Aug;66(4):553-8.Childhood socioeconomic status and host resistance to infectious illness in adulthood. Cohen S1, Doyle WJ, Turner RB, Alper CM, Skoner DP.

In the Air Tonight: Traffic Related Air Pollution as a Public Health Issue in Cincinnati

In class last Thursday we studied the differential health outcomes between people with varying degrees of education and income and how these factors affect their life expectancy. The film we watched made me think about the life expectancy in Cincinnati neighborhoods and what factors affect residents’ health, life expectancy and quality of life. One thing that has always concerned me about Cincinnati is the air quality in our city. My parents grew up in a small coastal town in Rhode Island where public transit was well established, a lot of people walk and bike for transportation, and smog alerts are unheard of. My mom has always had asthma, but she noticed it got worse when we moved to Cincinnati. Whenever we leave for vacation and come back she always notices the difference in air quality based on how well she can breathe.

The other day a Facebook friend posted a link to an article describing how investing in healthier forms of public transit can eliminate certain health risks that traffic related air pollution is causing Cincinnati residents. I did some digging and saw that not only does our current levels of air pollution cause lung problems such as asthma, but can also have neurological impacts on young children and can shorten the average life expectancy of a Cincinnati resident by three years. Our city ranks in the top 15 worst cities for pollution by the American Lung Association. Children’s Hospital of Cincinnati has done multiple studies to see how poor air quality affects the health of our city’s youth. Their findings caused them to launch a campaign in 2010 to urge school bus drivers and parents dropping or picking up kids at school to stop idling and turn off their engines to improve the air quality and limit school children’s exposure to exhaust.

To me, our air quality is clearly a public health issue and an environmental risk factor that as citizens of Cincinnati, we need to take action to improve. Maybe the solution lies in individual effort. Speaking for myself, I know I could work on not sitting in my car idling when the engine doesn’t need to be on. Carpooling could reduce my contribution to emissions and help me save money on gas. Perhaps the city needs to find a way to allocate more of the budget towards more efficient public transportation projects, such as the streetcar. Thinking about how air quality might be affecting the quality of life and life expectancy of me and my loved ones certainly motivates me to involve myself in fighting for cleaner air; does it motivate you?Photo 1 (2)

– Chloe Bartram

Read more about what people have to say about air quality and health:

Food Access in Hamilton County

The video we watched about public health in Louisville was extremely eye opening. It really got me to start thinking about the health conditions around here. After I did a little digging I found the county’s food access report for 2013. The report includes a lot of background describing elements of food desert locations, all things we have talked about in class in previous lectures. In addition the report describes current strategies in place as well as results and recommendations for continued efforts.

It was absolutely inspiring to read about the current efforts of the Public Health Department (HCPH) WeThrive! campaign and members of our community. One of the major efforts made had been to find new ways to get healthy food options to “under-served” areas. A total of eight fresh produce distribution sites have been created in schools, churches and farmers’ markets. To date, WeThrive has thirty-five school, church and community gardens in Hamilton County. The Cincinnati City Council is also getting involved, having created a Mobile Produce Truck Initiative. This program is in its early stages, but the county is working with local farmers to bring quality produce to areas in need.

We are also seeing efforts being made in existing establishments such as schools, care centers and small shops. The nutrition council along with HCPH is working with schools to implement food strategies that align with the Healthy Choices for Healthy Children Act. Nutrition guidelines have been changed at fifty-three child care centers serving 4,997 Hamilton County children.

K. Korthauer

What do you need?

People are always worried about what they want next when there are people out there that are trying to meet the needs just to live another day. when we were watching the film in class I couldn’t help but think about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. They say once you fulfill a need you move on to the next set of needs.The needs are split up into five different categories.They are Physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem, ans self-actualization

The physiological needs are the most important needs that need to be met to live such as food, water, breathing, sleep. These are all needed for humans to survive and function. Than we have our needs for safety which could cover security of family, yourself, morality, health, and property. Safety can mean anything from feeling like you are protected to being financially stable in life. These needs are only attained after the physiological needs are met. Third, is love and belonging this will include family, friendships, and sexual intimacy. Maslow says that all humans need to have a sense of belonging whether it be in a large or small group. Everyone also wants to have that one person they know they can count on to be loyal. that is usually who you are sexual intimate with. Esteem than follows as the fourth step, and can cover anywhere from self esteem to respect from others. No one wants to be the one kid that no one likes or wants to be around. Although if your happy with your self and you have no one to hang out with you might find your self being depressed, because humans are meant to interact with one another. Lastly, self-actualization is being the best you can be. This is when you go by a Mercedes just because you can and you want to. I never really though how others needs could be so different than someone else. Until, I really looked back and thought about how a lot of the needs when your successful are others wants.


I don’t always associate culture with health but it does make sense why they go together. Sometimes culture has a much larger effect than we realize. Some cultures do not have clean water or enough food to eat three meals a day. And because of these things it can make the people sick. It is crazy how much a culture can influence your health, just things that people eat in other countries are different than what we think is normal. Especially when people travel you really have to pay attention to there culture. For example I knew someone that traveled to Africa and because she could be exposed to a bunch of things there she had to get shots and make sure her health was in order before she went there. Experiencing a different culture is a good thing but you have to be safe about it as well. Other cultures are not bad they are just different and you can be exposed to things that you are not used to and these things can make you very sick, or they could effect your health in a way that you might not even notice. It is a good thing to be aware of your surroundings and to know what can and what cannot effect your health. It is also very interesting to find out about other cultures because everyone is different and can make a difference on the world.

-Theresa Roth


I was pretty shocked to learn that the people of different races with the same job and pay and stature in society died at different ages. It never occurred to me that racism, which is technically illegal, would still cause stress to minorities in America. The United States, as with many developed nations, has a relatively constant population pyramid, meaning that our population is relatively constant. Females tend to live a few years longer than men, as a general rule. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the world, followed by cancer and stroke. However, more young black males die from assault than black females or white males and females. Also, the rate for the mortality of black males under one year old is higher than for other races in the United States. This is shocking, considering the majority of people below the poverty line are white. According to my ecology teacher, this is a problem with society rather than genetics.
It’s sad that racism is still a problem, given how many other important political issues that people could be investing time and energy into.
Outgoing fun-fact: The baby boomers are fifty or sixty years old right now. They’ll be retiring soon, and our generation will be taking care of them; a difficult task considering how much they outnumber us. Heart disease as the number one cause of death is actually a result of humans living so long; older people are more likely to die of heart problems than something like infection, childbirth, or war. Countries with unstable population pyramids are usually developing; they are having many children, and death cause and numbers are scattered throughout the ages.

Statistics and statements taken from charts I received in my Ecology class and the video we watched in Communicating about Health the Environment and Science.

-Nicole Hansel