Understanding Non-Verbal Communication across Cultures: A Symbolic Interactionism Approach

i-Come International Conference on Communication and Media 2012, Penang, Malaysia, 1-3 November 2012

8 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2012

See all articles by Raji Ridwan Adetunji

Raji Ridwan Adetunji

Universiti Utara Malaysia

Koh Sze

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: November 1, 2012

Abstract

We don’t even need much explanation that human communicate verbally and non-verbally, if not for some theoretical arguments that approach language as a communication tool, a channel or a feature that characterize communication types. Nevertheless, all still concord that communication revolves round language usage and interpretation of symbols. Communication reviewers have enormously done well in pushing and explaining that communication is not just sending and receiving messages but the interpretation of those messages appropriately. Social interactionists behold that source of a particular meaning is as much important as the creation of that meaning. Then believing the popularly embraced idiom “Action speaks louder than voice” should be questioned; that is in juxtaposing verbal communication and non-verbal communication which is more witty and communicative? According to the theoretical perspective of the symbolic interationists, what exactly are the most common and correct source of non-verbal interpretation? If truly culture and society inform non-verbal interpretations, would non-verbal communications across cultures be communicative at all? To answers all of the above ponderous and indistinct questions, the study aims at conducting an exploratory research that will feature rigorous review of symbolic interactionism theory and its linkages to non-verbal communications and interpretations. The study would also specifically elaborate the possible misunderstanding and misinterpretations of non-verbal communication across cultures. The implications, practical and theoretical significance of the study would be discussed extensively.

Keywords: Symbolic Interactionism, Non-verbal communication, Intercultural Communication

Suggested Citation

Adetunji, Raji Ridwan and Sze, Koh, Understanding Non-Verbal Communication across Cultures: A Symbolic Interactionism Approach (November 1, 2012). i-Come International Conference on Communication and Media 2012, Penang, Malaysia, 1-3 November 2012 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2178486

Raji Ridwan Adetunji (Contact Author)

Universiti Utara Malaysia ( email )

School of Multimedia Technology and Communication
Universiti Utara Malaysia
Sintok, KS Kedah 06010
Malaysia
0175446285 (Phone)

Koh Sze

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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