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Cultural Factors in Nonverbal Communication. Types of Nonverbal Communication

Participants in a communication process adapt to each other’s speaking style – for example, by leaning forward, matching the other’s speech rate, assuming a similar posture, using similar gestures, or pronouncing words with the same accent. If a communicator rejects the style of the other as culturally inappropriate – for example, by leaning away, intentionally slowing the speech rate, or assuming an uninviting posture – the flow of communication is interrupted. Edward Hall stated:” People in interactions move together in a kind of dance, but they are not aware of their synchronous movement”. He found that each culture has its own characteristic manner of sitting, standing, reclining and gesturing. Most people are unaware when these are happening. When they become aware, they are unable to pay attention to anything else. When someone from a low-context culture interacts with someone from a high-context culture, the rhythms are likely to be very different and may create such discomfort that communication is jeopardized.

Culture establishes standards for nonverbal behavior. We often have an involuntary reaction to someone violating our expectations about personal space. Our culture specifies behaviors that invite or discourage interaction. We learn nonverbal signals that indicate another person is receptive to being approached – for example, smiling, and eye contact. If we use those same cues in interaction with someone from another culture, we could be quite startled by the response. If our expectations are not met, we will probably evaluate the other person negatively based on behavior that conforms to a culture different from our own.

There are seven types of nonverbal communication: kinesics and other body movements, space, time, touch, voice, artifacts, and physical appearance.


Date: 2015-01-02; view: 1088

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