Is Body Language Universal? Term Paper by Quality Writers

Is Body Language Universal?
This paper explores whether body language and gestures are universal or culturally determined.
# 103668 | 2,248 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2008 | US
Published on May 23, 2008 in Communication (Interpersonal)

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This paper focuses upon the cultural and natural determinants of body language and gestures. More specifically, the paper explores the parameters of body language communication across cultures and distinguishes those signs that may be innate or universal from those that are purely culturally-specific. The paper also stresses the significance of body language and gestures in communicating across cultural lines in our rapidly shrinking global village.

From the Paper:

"As these definitions suggest, body language and gesture can be seen as sign systems that are used to convey meaning from a sender to a receiver. The question of how this communication process occurs, and the roles of coding and decoding that are part of the process, are the subject of considerable scholarly debate. For example, when we encounter someone unknown to us who is making an overt gesture at us, it is necessary that we decode the gesture to determine what is being "said". However, in such cases, do we always have the "key" to unlock this code. Can some "keys" be hardwired into our genetic makeup as humans, or are these "keys" always culturally determined in the same way that spoken languages can be widely different depending upon the culture."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Chan, Ming. "The Art of Connecting with an Ancient October 19, 2005. Retrieved April 2, 2007.
  • Danesi, Marcel. Messages, Signs, and Meanings. Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press, 2004.
  • Eastman, Carol. "Swahili Interjections: Blurring language use/gesture use boundaries." Journal of Pragmatics. 18 (1992): 273-287.
  • Gibson, Kathleen. "Cultures and Customs in Animals and Humans:Neurobiological and Evolutionary Considerations." Anthropological Theory. 2.3 (2002): 323-339.
  • Givens, David. "The Non-Verbal Basis of Attraction."Psychiatry. 41.4(1978):346-359.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Is Body Language Universal? (2008, May 23) Retrieved August 13, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Is Body Language Universal?" 23 May 2008. Web. 13 August. 2020. <>