ERIC Number: ED157405
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Kinesics and Cross-Cultural Understanding. Language in Education: Theory and Practice, No. 7.
Morain, Genelle G.
Body language, also called kinesics, is the discipline concerned with the study of all bodily motions that are communicative. An understanding of kinesics across cultures necessitates a close look at posture, movement, facial expression, eye management, gestures, and proxemics (distancing). The popularity of one posture over another and the emotion conveyed by a given posture seems to be largely determined by culture. Recent studies of rhythm and dance as they relate to body movement have revealed astonishing new insights into human interaction. Facial expressions are very revealing and would be an important aspect of language learners attempting to master the nonverbal system of another culture. The role of eye contact in a conversational exchange between two Americans is well defined and is intensely important in interpersonal communication. An understanding of the role gestures play (autistic, technical and folk) within a culture is critical to sensitive communication. In each culture, the use of space (proxemics) depends upon the nature of the social interaction, but all cultures distinguish the four basic categories of intimate, personal, social, and public distance. While it is clear that all cultures make use of kinesic behaviors in communication, scholars do not agree on the precise nature of the role they play and are searching for some kinesic universals. An appendix is included with suggested activities for sensitizing students to aspects of nonverbal communication. A bibliography is also appended. (NCR)
Descriptors: Body Language, Communication Skills, Cross Cultural Studies, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Differences, Cultural Interrelationships, Dance, Eye Movements, Foreign Culture, Human Posture, Interaction Process Analysis, Learning Activities, Motion, Motor Reactions, Nonverbal Communication, Paralinguistics, Perceptual Motor Coordination, Proximity, Self Expression
Center for Applied Linguistics, 1611 N. Kent Street, Arlington, Virginia 22209 ($2.95)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics, Washington, DC.