A World of Gestures
This often humorous and always entertaining video explores gestures from cultures around the world. While American gestures for such messages as “OK,” “Shame on you,” and “Crazy” are well-known in this country, gestures from other societies provide fascinating cross-cultural examples of nonverbal communication.
A World of Gestures shows people from dozens of countries performing gestures that are by turns powerful, provocative, poignant, subtle — and sometimes outrageous. The video examines angry gestures, obscene gestures, friendly gestures, warning gestures, the development of gestures in children, gang gestures, secret gestures, and embarrassing gestures. Many types of gestures are illustrated, including those for beauty, sexual behavior, suicide, aggression, and love.
The video also examines the meaning and function of gestures as a form of nonverbal communication and studies their origins and emotional significance. Many issues are explored: Why do some cultures have many obscene gestures and others none? How are new gestures created in a society? How do children acquire “fluency” in gestures?
A World of Gestures is essential viewing for a wide variety of courses in psychology, sociology, communication, speech, and anthropology. Viewers are guaranteed a greatly enhanced appreciation of cultural diversity and richness — and of the power of nonverbal communication.
An accompanying in-depth Instructor’s Guide provides suggested uses of the video, classroom demonstrations of the power of gestures, and background reference material on gestures and nonverbal communication.
A World of Gestures was produced by Prof. Dane Archer, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz.