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Assignment 2: Language In Action

692 words - 3 pages

When analyzing a conversation many people first think about is what the person is saying in order to understand what is going on. Now of course listening to what is being said is very important when examining a conversation but what an abundant amount of people may not know is that conversation can also be investigated through body movements, stances, gestures, and expressions. Those four topics fall under the category of kinesics. Also language can be analyzed through proxemics. According to Culture by Lisa Gezon and Conrad Kottak on page sixty-two it states, “ the term proxemics is to refer to the study of spatial relations between people.” Subsequently this means that language communication is not only verbal but also nonverbal and in the following paragraphs I will examine a conversation of my own and see how these characteristics of nonverbal conversation come in to play.
To begin, when it came to proxemics while observing the conversation there was ...view middle of the document...

This is due to the fact that a person cannot really be trusted yet because they do not really know each other. So it becomes difficult to focus on the conversation. In the end though everyone has his or her limits as to how close a person can get while conversing, even if it is with a close friend, and that is known as personal space.
In addition, while observing a conversation it was noted that whenever someone was speaking he or she faced and held eye contact with the person he or she was talking to. The only time this contact was broken was when the person speaking was referring to another person or asking another person their opinion, in which the contact was switched to that other person for a brief moment. In my opinion, I feel that eye contact is important because it shows respect for the other person and illustrates that you are listening and interested. Also since the conversation I was observing was sort of a debate type based on opinions, gestures and facial expression came into play. For instance, when one friend stated his opinion on the subject my friend with the opposite opinion exhibited a facial expression that seemed shocked or dumfounded. Also hand gestures I observed were my friend putting his hands over his face when he heard what the other person had said in shock. Thus, gestures, facial expressions and, eye contact help put emphasis on what a person is saying and add personality to the subject, which can show how strongly a person believes in what he or she is saying.
In conclusion, of the conversations that I have encountered I haven’t really noticed a difference in they way people act when speaking to a person of different class or ethnicity. But for gender I have, for example I have seen some males lack eye contact when speaking to females because he is shy. Also even though I haven’t see this in real life, in television shows or movies some people talk different to people of different class or ethnicity because they may feel superior if they are of higher class or a certain ethnicity. In my opinion this is immorally wrong because I believe everyone is equal. All in all, conversations would not be the same if it were not for the nonverbal communications that comes along with it to add personality and feelings.

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