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Showing posts with the label Miriam Santiago

Kinesics

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Certainly, there was some deep meaning in it, most worthy of interpretation, and which, as it were, streamed forth from the mystic symbol, subtly communicating itself to my sensibilities, but evading the analysis of my mind. --Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (1850)

Put simply, kinesics refers to body position and motion including those of the face.  It is a form of nonverbal communication people use to establish relationships, and express personal identity and cultural values.
Does Hitler's Nazi salute come to mind, for example?

Right here in my part of the world kinesics are abundant in cultural communications. Thailand is a society where fewer words are spoken. The wai is used to convey many meanings.  In my early days in Bangkok I saw two cars sideswipe each other. When drivers came out of their vehicles to sort out the accident, the first thing I saw they did was not an exchange of words but a wai. The same kind of accident may warrant kinesics in other countries but prob…