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Body Language and Proxemics

Body Language and Proxemics
Courtney Wilder
ANT101: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Instructor: Ashi Das
November 11,2013 Body Language and ProxemicsBody language is a very important and often overlooked aspect of communication. Body language is a form of communication by means of the movements and/or attitudes of the body. We as humans are always speaking whether or not you are speaking verbally. From a smile, to crossing your arms, to fidgeting, we are always communicating. The most important aspects of body language are voice, gestures, and posture. Body language seems to be fairly unconscious behavior yet it does follow some trend. I noticed that men react in similar ways and women react in similar ways. These actions do not seem to be noticed unless the behavior of either of the sexes is outside the normal behavior. Proxemics is a subcategory of the study of nonverbal communication along with haptics (touch), kinesics (body movement), vocalics (paralanguage),and chronemics (structure of time). It is the study of measurable distances between people as they interact. Proxemics is the hidden dimension of human culture which we practice unconsciously all the time. It is impossible for man to divest himself of his own culture. Culture has penetrated to the roots of man’s nervous system and it determines how he perceives the world. Each and every organism in the universe tries to occupy, cultivate, preserve and utilize space. This process of owning the space by above said means differ from culture to culture.
In the Hispanic culture, a warm, somewhat soft handshake is the customary greeting among both men and women. Men should let the woman make the first move toward handshaking. After the second or third meeting, Mexican men may begin with or add the abrazo, the embrace along with a few pats on the back. Women friends will embrace lightly and pretend to kiss a…


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