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Bradley Hilltopics

Fall 2007 • Volume 13, Issue 4

Sharing Cultures

by Abby Wilson ’10

Zohooro and classmate

Dr. Zohoori reunited with his University of Tehran classmate at a ski resort in the Alborz Mountains, north of Tehran.

Dr. Ali Zohoori, professor of communication, sees himself as an ambassador of different cultures. “We are ambassadors when we go from one culture to another and try to enhance people’s understanding of the other culture with the hope that we can reduce misunderstandings,” he explains. He spent the first five months of 2007 on sabbatical, teaching at the University of Tehran. Although he taught and conducted his own research on Iranian culture, Zohoori’s main goal was to dispel Iranian misconceptions about American culture, then return to the U.S. and dispel American misconceptions about Iranian culture.

Zohoori, who has dual citizenship, believes it is vital for students to have the opportunity to learn about different cultures while at Bradley. “If we just educate students with professional and technical skills and knowledge, but we don’t teach our students about the world, then I think we shortchange them,” he says. Zohoori loves examining other cultures. He teaches Intercultural Communication at Bradley, and he tries to explore intercultural aspects in all of his courses.

Despite the current political tensions between the U.S. and Iran, Zohoori’s sabbatical experience was successful. However, as he explains, he was cautious not to cross certain boundaries set by the government, such as criticizing top government officials or Islam.

Zohoori taught a graduate course called Media Economy in Tehran. It was the first time the course was taught in Iran. He says the schools there are much different than in America. They are more formal, and classes consist more of lectures as opposed to a question-and-answer format. He enjoyed giving students the opportunity to interact with him during class. Zohoori notes that there are now more females attending college in Iran. He estimates the female to male ratio to be about 2-to-1. Out of the nine faculty members in the University of Tehran’s communication department, three were women with doctoral degrees from prestigious universities.

Zohoori conducted his own studies of Iranian cultural values, as well. He focused on values reflected in billboard advertising, and job satisfaction of people in electronic and print media. He hopes to eventually turn his research into a book about Iranian cultural values.

Dr. Zohoori and students

Dr. Zohoori poses with students from the media economy graduate course he taught at the University of Tehran.