Module 1 Case Study
Attention: This case study may trigger your emotions.
Please book an appointment with one of the counselors at our Learner Success
Services if you need any support. The author of the case study, Crystal
Manyfingers, who is a teaching and learning consultant at Bow Valley College,
will also be happy to provide additional support.
describes a situation of racial profiling, which, according to a CBC news piece
that draws from an Ontario Human Rights Commission report, Indigenous people
report happens to them frequently in stores. Please read this report:
James earned his
MBA at Concordia University at Montreal, Quebec. As a child, James was raised
by his grandparents who taught him to be proud of his Inuk heritage. He grew up
on the land and learned all the ways of his ancestors and about their rich
cultural traditions. He enjoys and places importance on sharing these teachings
with his own daughter, Nicola.
As his career
progressed, James sought out and won the position of Executive Director for the
Blackfoot Confederacy Corp. in Mohkinstis (the City of Calgary). He moved his
young family to the nearby rural town of Crossfield, so Nicola could start
grade five in a smaller community. Just before the first day of school, the
family decided to go to the nearby shopping centre to buy school supplies and
clothes. James and his wife Suzanne were
not aware of the ongoing tensions and racist relationship that existed between
some of the local townsfolk and certain members of the neighboring First
Upon entering the
store, James and his family began to be followed by a security guard. At first
they thought that this was just a coincidence, so they continued on with their
shopping. The security guard followed them uncomfortably closely and James
heard the guard mutter, “Braids are for little girls.” James had grown his
braid since he was a child.
This comment upset Nicola, and Suzanne said, “Let’s just get out of here.”
situation angered James, so he abruptly turned around to confront the security
guard and asked why he and his family were being followed around the store. The
security guard’s response was that there had been an ongoing problem with
shoplifting by the nearby Blackfoot people. This blatant generalization angered
James, so he asked to speak to the store’s manager.
After a while,
the store manager came and took the group aside into his office. James
explained what he had just experienced, and that he had just moved to the
community from Eastern Canada, that he couldn’t believe that his family had
been followed in the store just because of their race, and that he would not
tolerate anyone upsetting his family. The manager listened to James and was
thinking of an effective way to respond.
Part A: Case study questions (60
marks or 15 marks each)
Answer each of the following questions in
approximately 200 words.
Do you think the work of the
security guard will be negatively or positively affected if a more
interpersonal relationship with James and his family is established? Why? Refer
to the principles of “interpersonal communication exists on a continuum”
(DeVito, Shimoni, & Clark, 2016, p. 5) and “interpersonal communication
involves power” (DeVito et al., 2016, pp. 16-17).
Did you assume that the
security guard was born in Canada, white, or
male when reading the case study? What does this assumption reflect on your own
intercultural communication? Why? Refer to two concepts in Chapter 2.
Nicola is developing her
self-concept, which according to DeVito et al. (2016) is influenced by four
sources (p. 48). Which of these two sources do you think influence Nicola’s
self-concept most? Why? Explain and apply the textbook concepts on pp. 48-50
clearly in your answer.
Imagine that you are the manager
in the case study. Write a dialogue that illustrates a positive outcome of his
communication with James by applying the effective listening strategies in