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My Big Fat Greek Wedding

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on 22 May 2015

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Transcript of My Big Fat Greek Wedding

My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Individualism and Collectivism
In-groups and Out-groups
High/Low Context Communication
DMIS Model
Nonverbal Communication
Femininity and Masculinity
Plot Summary
Toula belongs to the large, Greek Portokalos family. At 30 she is still unmarried which worries her family that she may never find a proper Greek man to marry. But Toula meets Ian Miller, an American man she falls in love with but of whom she knows her family will not approve. The movie depicts Toula and Ian's journey to the alter through all of her family's disapproval and attempts to steer her towards the 'right' man.
Clip 1
Analysis Clip 1
Clip 2
Individualism and Collectivism
Greek culture is collectivist
American culture is individualistic
Views on relationships differ - Toula ties her relationships with her family while Ian can separate those two aspects of his life
In-group vs Out-group
Verbal Communication Styles: Low vs High Context
Greek culture is typically understood as a high context communication culture
Saving face is important and respectful
Toula has assimilated into the American low-context communication style - she and Ian are able to have a conversation where they speak directly about their future as a couple
Scene Summary
This clip shows Toula and Ian beginning to talk about their background and families. Toula voices her anxiety over her potential future with Ian when recounting Christmases with her big, Greek family. There is an obvious difference in upbringing when Ian reveals how small his family is in comparison to Toula's.
Also Seen in the Clip
Toula grew up learning that her family is their own in-group and is worried that it will affect their relationship because Ian is not included
Ian is part of the out-group as defined by Toula's family
Although Toula does not want the relationship to be affected by his background, she knows that her in-group will see it differently
Analysis Concepts
Individualism and Collectivism
In-groups and Out-groups
Verbal Communication: High and Low Context
In-groups: groups with whom we feel emotionally close and with whom we share an interdependent fate.
Outgroups: Groups with whom we feel no emotional ties, and at times, we may experience great psychologcial distance from them and even feel competitive against them.
Individualism: a cultural trait in which individual traits and values are more important than those of a group
Collectivism: group rights and values are more emphasized than individual ones.
Analysis Concepts
DMIS Model and Cultural Biases
Non-Verbal Communication Styles
Masculinity vs Femininity
Analysis Clip 2
DMIS Model and Cultural Biases
Non-Verbal Communication
Masculine and Feminine
Also Seen in the Clip
Where is Toula on the DMIS model?
Low-context communication: emphasis is on how intention or meaning is expressed through explicit verbal messages.
High-context communication: emphasis is on how intention or meaning can best be conveyed through the embedded contexts and the nonverbal channels of the verbal message.
Masculinity: associated with societies in which social gender roles are clearly complementary and distinct.
Femininity: societies in which social gender roles are fluid and can overlap.
Physical Appearance
Paralingual features (vocal cues)
Facial Expressions
Kinesics (body movements)
Haptics (touch)
Oculesics (eye contact)
Proxemics (space)
And Ian?
Scene Summary:
This clip details an argument between Ian and Toula's father, Gus. Ian did not ask Gus for permission to date Toula, which is a tradition that Gus is not willing to overlook. From this tension, Gus intends to find Toula a proper Greek man to marry.
Character List
Toula Portokalos
Gus Portokalos
Nick Portokalos
Maria Portokalos
Ian Miller
Works Cited
In-groups and Out-groups

Power Distance (60,40)

Uncertainty Avoidance (100, 46)

Verbal Communication: High and Low Context
My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Dir. Joel Zwick. Perf. Nia Vardalos, John Corbett. Warner Bros, 2003. DVD.

Hofstede, Geert. "The Hofstede Centre." Cultural Insights. Web. 2 May 2015. <http://geert-hofstede.com>.

Ting-Toomey, Stella, and Leeva C. Chung. Understanding Intercultural Communication. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. Oxford UP, 2012. Print.
Cultural biases are evident throughout these conversations.
Gus's bias against Ian and his American values and anger that he did not ask permission to date Toula.
Maria tells Toula to end the 'romance' again because Ian is not Greek.
These characters show their bias on the more ethnocentric side of the DMIS model
Denial and Defense
The tension is very noticeable in the clip due to non-verbals.
Gus and Ian's paralinguistic cues, kinesics, and proxemics
The dinner scene is even more uncomfortable due to the variety of body language (and related proxemics), oculesics, and facial expressions.
Ian comes from a masculine culture while the Portokalos family comes from a relatively feminine one.
However, the traditions and beliefs held by Gus and his family make them seem as if they come from an intensely masculine culture.
US: 62 to Greece: 57
Full transcript