Tuesday, September 27, 2016

InterculturalCom: Nonverbal Intercultural Communication: Definition & Types of NVC (by Function) (W6-P2) Fa16

Nonverbal communication: “Nonlinguistic (involving neither written nor spoken language) behavior that creates meaning for someone”(BBR).

Nonverbal communication can serve several functions
  1. Emblems - can be used to replace words, direct verbal translation  (e.g., the "O.K." gesture).
  2. Illustrators - accompany and clarify spoken word (e.g., pointing when telling somebody directions).
  3. Affect displays - movement of face, etc. which show emotion (e.g. a smile).
  4. Regulators - movements which encourage or discourage further communication … “traffic cops” of conversation (e.g., a student raises their hand in classroom and prof. stops and allows them to speak).
  5. Adaptors - movements to satisfy physical or psychological discomfort (e.g., scratching an itch).
Besides the examples given above, can you think of other examples?  Think of some nonverbal behaviors and see if you can fit them into the above function categories.

Which functions are more universal (i.e., be understand regardless of culture)? Which are more culturaly relative (i.e., would not be understood across cultures)?

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