Culture and Nonverbal Communication
(28 minutes)

This video explores nonverbal communication from cultures around the world. Members of a culture typically know ONLY the gestures from their own society. For example, Americans know gestures for messages such as "OK", "Shame on You", and "Crazy", but are tend to be ignorant about gestures from all other societies. Similarly, most Iranians have no idea that their most obscene gesture (the "thumbs up" gesture) actually means "good luck" in the U.S. and many European nations.

The video A WORLD OF GESTURES provides fascinating cross-cultural examples of "nonverbal" communication. In A WORLD OF GESTURES, we see people from dozens of nations performing gestures that are powerful, poignant, subtle, and sometimes outrageous. Different types of gestures are shown, including those for beauty, sexual behavior, suicide, aggression, and love. Since gestures often involve powerful emotions, many of these sequences are provocative, humorous, and entertaining.

The meaning and function of gestures are also explored. For example, why is it that while some cultures have a huge number of obscene gestures, other cultures have not a single one? How old are some gestures? How are new gestures created in a society?

A WORLD OF GESTURES also explores the origin of gestures and examines how "fluency" in gestures is acquired as children develop. Famous instances of "gesture controversy" are described--for example, when the Prime Minister of England unwittingly gave an obscene gesture to large crowds of enthusiastic admirers.

AUDIENCES--This videotape will be perfect for classes in psychology, anthropology, sociology, communication, linguistics, international relations, folklore and multi-cultural studies.

A WORLD OF GESTURES brings into provocative focus the silent language of gesture. Anyone who sees this video will emerge with a greatly enhanced sense of the diversity and richness of other cultures, and of the power of nonverbal communication.

A WORLD OF GESTURES is available with an INSTRUCTOR'S GUIDE that provides:
(a) suggested uses of the video,
(b) classroom demonstrations designed to show the power of gestures, and
(c) background and reference materials on gestures and nonverbal communication.


What reviewers are saying about "A WORLD OF GESTURES":

"Archer's tape is a wonderful, eye-opening demonstration of cultural variation in gestural usage. From now on I will always use A WORLD OF GESTURES in my classes."
---Judith A. Hall, Professor of Psychology, Northeastern University, Editor of THE JOURNAL OF NONVERBAL BEHAVIOR

"A WORLD OF GESTURES is fascinating and informative. It's both cross-cultural and sensitive to gender issues. Students will love it, and it will serve as an excellent stimulus to discussion."
---Nancy Henley, Professor of Psychology, UCLA, author of BODY POLITICS

"A WORLD OF GESTURES is a thoroughly delightful piece of serious but unconventional scholarship. Humorous and accessible to viewers of all ages and educational backgrounds, it will also have enormous value as a supplement to college courses in linguistics, folklore, anthropology, and social psychology."
---Gary Gossen, Professor of Anthropology, State University of New York (SUNY), Albany

"A WORLD OF GESTURES helps students gain a cross-cultural perspective on nonverbal behavior in a wonderfully informal, informative, and entertaining way. Highly recommended for class demonstrations."
---Robert Rosenthal, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, co-editor, NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION IN THE CLINICAL CONTEXT

"A WORLD OF GESTURES is a splendid video, with informants providing a rich array of gestures. It's an exciting and inspiring teaching device. A WORLD OF GESTURES inspires participation on the part of those who watch it. This rare quality makes this video perfect for courses in cultural anthropology, communications, linguistics, psychology, folklore, and international business."
---Alan Dundes, Professor of Anthropology, UC Berkeley

"A WORLD OF GESTURES is an extraordinarily interesting and informative videotape. Students will find the tape very involving, and this will be a most extraordinary teaching instrument. Nothing like A WORLD OF GESTURES exists and, having seen this video, I can't imagine teaching my class without it. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words, and this videotape and its informative INSTRUCTOR'S GUIDE are a must. I recommend it heartily."
---Robin M. Akert, Professor of Psychology, Wellesley College

"A WORLD OF GESTURES is one of a kind. It is an exceptional video for understanding gestural communication, and for stimulating discussion about cross-cultural understanding. My students loved it!"
---Mark Knapp, Professor of Speech Communication, University of Texas, co-author NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION IN HUMAN INTERACTION