DOC

2 Body language - Masaryk University

By Harold Morgan,2014-11-14 07:37
11 views 0
2 Body language - Masaryk University

    MASARYK UNIVERSITY

    FACULTY OF EDUCATION

    DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE

    Body language and gestures across cultures

    Bachelor Thesis

    Brno 2010

Supervisor: Written by:

    Michael George, M.A Ondřej Korchan

Announcement

    I declare that I wrote up this bachelor thesis on my own and I used only the sources listed in

    the bibliography.

     …………………………..

     Ondřej Korchan

    2

Acknowledgments

    I would like to thank my supervisor, Michael George, M.A. for his guidance during writing the thesis, his kind support, patience during consultations and valuable advice.

    3

Korchan, Ondřej. Body language and gestures across cultures: bachelor thesis. Brno:

    Masaryk University, Faculty of Education, Department of English Language and Literature, 2010. 41 p. Supervisor: Michael George, M.A.

Abstract

    The bachelor thesis deals with body-language as a form of non-verbal communication, gestures and differences in using gestures in different cultures. Interpretation of same gestures differs often in various parts of the world. Knowledge about the importance of body language and its potential usage in practice are included as well.

Anotace

Bakalářská práce se zabývá řečí těla jako formou komunikace, gestikulací a rozdíly

    v používání gestikulace v různých kulturách. Interpretace stejných gest se mnohdy velmi

    odlišuje v různých částech světa. V práci jsou rovněž zahrnuty poznatky o důležitosti řeči těla

    a jejich potenciální využití v praxi.

Key Words

    Body language, non-verbal communication, spacing, handshake, O.K. , gestures, differences in cultures

Klíčová slova

Řeč těla, neverbální komunikace, osobní prostor, podání ruky, O.K., gesta, rozdíly v kulturách

    4

Contents

     Introduction .................................................................................................................... 7 1

    2 Body language ............................................................................................................... 8 2.1 Is our body able to speak? ........................................................................................ 8 2.2 Pretending of body language .................................................................................... 9 2.3 Several well-known facts about human non-verbal communication .......................... 9 2.4 Nine basic signals we can read in people’s faces .................................................... 10 2.5 Inter-cultural differences in interpretation and explanation of smile ....................... 11 2.6 Personal territory ................................................................................................... 12 2.7 Spacing .................................................................................................................. 12 2.8 Cultural factors that influence areal spacing ........................................................... 13 2.9 Spacing in city and at the countryside .................................................................... 14 3 The most popular gestures ............................................................................................ 16 3.1 Basis of gestures and their origin............................................................................ 16 3.2 Shrug ..................................................................................................................... 16 3.3 Circle of fingers, alias O.K. .................................................................................... 16 3.4 Thumbs up ............................................................................................................. 17 3.5 “V” for victory ....................................................................................................... 18 3.6 Handshake ............................................................................................................. 18 3.7 Dominant x submisive handshake .......................................................................... 18 4 Practical part, country-by country listing ...................................................................... 20 4.1 Non-verbal communication in lessons .................................................................... 20 4.2 How can we learn to understand body language ..................................................... 21 4.3 Are you sensible to body language? (self-evaluating test)....................................... 21 4.4 Body language and gestures concrete criteria that are significant for certain

    countries .......................................................................................................................... 23 4.4.1 North America ................................................................................................ 23 4.4.2 South and Central America ............................................................................. 25 4.4.3 Middle East .................................................................................................... 27 4.4.4 Africa ............................................................................................................. 29 4.4.5 Asia and The Pacific Islands ........................................................................... 31 4.4.6 Europe ............................................................................................................ 34

    5

5 Conclusion ................................................................................................................... 38

6 Works Cited ................................................................................................................. 39

6

1 INTRODUCTION

    This thesis deals with the most important aspects that are helpful for our understanding another people from their gestures, mimics and body language. It is important for future teachers to be aware of this topic and not to forget that except for the things that are said in front of an audience, the enormous part of impression creates how the speaker moves, looks, what the whole body does during a presentation. In the theoretical part the most often used body language is described and its connection with thoughts and unconscious. Nine basic signals as identifiers of speaker’s feelings are described in this chapter as well. The next important rule we should follow is spacing, since if we stand too close or too far from the person we communicate with, it could make the addressee feel bad.

    Another part of thesis are world-wide used gestures (such as thumbs up, ok sign, handshake etc.), their origin and differences in meaning of the same gestures in various countries. Although these gestures are used in the entire world, in every-day situations, most people have never thought about these gestures’ origin, reasons why are they so popular, which

    famous people used these gestures for the first time and made them so popular.

     The last chapter deals with how the body language could be taught in lessons, self-evaluating test of people’s ability to perceive body language and concrete examples of how continental,

    as well as national, influences have changed the meanings of common gestures. There are also described frequent body movement, known to various country, some tips of gestures and situations we should avoid in order not to look like a stranger, rude, or uneducated person.

    7

2 BODY LANGUAGE

2.1 Is our body able to speak?

    Body language is said to be much more honest than words. And it is a fact, anthropologist Albert Mehrabian writes that just seven percent of the information we get during a conversation is gained from words while thirty eight percent is gained from tone of voice. Other sense, such as smell and touch take a part at this process as well (Thiel, 8). It is also declared, that on average we do not speak longer than twelve minutes in a day and the average duration of a sentence is no longer than 2,5 seconds. According to Birdwhistell it means, that almost 65 percent of the information we get from speaking is not gained from words (Thiel, 9).

    The information, that we gain from verbal communication are just brief facts, whereas non-verbal communication is what we get and what is supposed to create a picture into our soul, which means attitudes, dispositions, real feelings. Experts in body language are able to recognize what kind of movement a speaking person will do if they listen to his/her tone of voice.

    Our hands, arms, shoulders and legs do not express any less than our tongue. Similarly to multiple-meanings words, also our gestures might have more meanings. Significant meaning is what gestures get only in connection with another gestures and aspects of body language in particular situation, which is the same as multiple-meanings words compared to single-meanings words.

    Body language as such has its own grammar and punctuation. Every gesture has the same value as a single word.

    Although it seems to be rather difficult, body language is a matter of instinct Observation of children who are born blind, who have never seen gestures, proves that there are two ways of gestures: born and learned (Thiel, 9)

    The entire life is based on communication, therefore is it very important for us to learn to express ourselves as accurate as possible. Only in case we are able to express our opinions, attitudes and requests can we expect we will reach the goals we have specified before.

    8

2.2 Pretending of body language

    If we deal with body language, we should know the answer to one basic question. Is it possible to pretend body lanugage? The answer is “no” , since if we try to cheat, we will be

    revealed by dissagreement between gestures, signals of our body and words. For example open hands are connected with fairness, but in case a cheater shows his/her open hands, keeps smiling and lies at the same moment, it will be revealed by very trifling signals. Sometimes he/she has narrowed pupils or corners of mouth move. These signals are in contradiction with gesture of open hands and frank smile. Consequently, the listener does not trust to the person who talks. Of course there are examples of people who intentionally pretend body language so as to get certain advantages. If we think of Miss World, Miss Universe, every participant moves in an accurate learned style to make honest impression. Competitors may attract judge according to what extent are they able to create possitive impression. Although even experts in body language are not able to pretend false signals for very long time, because their bodies begin make signals subconscious at their acting. Some politics are able to pretend body language so as to get electors on their side.

    If we need to cover lie, we use our faces. We try to smile, we nod, we blink. All of these in order to mask unsincere words. Yet, our body speaks absolutely different language that is in contradiction with signals we tried to focus on.

    To sum it up permanent pretending of body language is very difficult, though it is very profitable for us to learn using positive and “opened” gestures and reduce gestures that might

    carry negative signals during our communication. If we are aware of these facts, we can feel better in society and we will be more attractive for people we speak with(Pease,17).

2.3 Several well-known facts about human non-verbal communication

    Those who are acquainted in another people’s emotions usually have the most extended differentiation ability for details in non-verbal communication and belong to the most popular persons in society. They are very sensitive. Another important thing is smile,that affects behaviour of the addressee since it activates feed-back. Percentage of probability from that we are able to recognize basic emotions out of face zones: in 79% is it enough to see eyebrows and forehead to identify surprise; in 67% is it enough to see only eyes to recognize fear and sadness; in 98% is it enough to see inferior part of face to recognize happiness. Moreover,

    9

    when we take a look at another person, we look in his/her face, 75% of that time do we look at the triangle between eyes and mouth, 10% at forehead and hair, in 5% we notice his/her chin and only last 10% of time belong to remaining parts of body. When men meets another person, he usually comes closer than women. Furthermore, it does not matter whether the other person is a man or a woman. Another important fact is that repertoire of gestures differs in various cultures. In 1963-1964 the frequency of touches by people sitting in cafés was observed by Mr. Jourard. There are 180 touches by people in San Juan(Puerto Rico), 110 touches by people in Paris, only 2 touches in Gainesville (Florida) and no touch by people in café in London (Vybíral,77).

2.4 Nine basic signals we can read in people’s faces

    Human face both by children and by adults consists of 25 various muscles that creat expression of our feelings and mood. Scientist identified by using high-speed film, reading the activity of brain and another methods specific gestures, expressions, sounds, that are connected with every singal. Studies of babies prove, that babies take a look at human face more than at any different impulses. The part, they concentrate the most on are eyes and mouth. Babies do subconsciously look for these signals. There are still discussions about this topic but there are nine basic signals we can read in face.

    ; Interest is expressed by lifted eyebrows, concentrated look and listening;

    mouth might be lightly opened

    ; Pleasure it creates smile, lips are extended in side-direction or downwards

    ; Surprise it is connected with lifted eyebrows, eyes are widely opened,

    blinking, mouth opened in a spape of letter “O”

    ; Unrest eyebrows lifted in curved shape, crying, corners of mouth downwards,

    tears and rhytmic sobbing

    ; Anger expressed by scowl, eyes narrowed, mandibles clenched and the face

    turns red

    ; Abashment drooped eyelids

    ; Satiety children curl lips, stick out their tongues

    ; Aversion against smell upper lip and nose goes up and a had turns

    away(Holinger,29).

    10

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email
cust-service@docsford.com