Essay on Gesture, Race and Culture Book Review

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Gesture, Race and Culture Book Review Gestures are unique forms of non-verbal communication, which have been studied, both out of context and within culture and race. In 1942, Dr. David Efron wrote the book, Gesture and Environment, which was a summary of Efron’s research of the claims of the Nazi scientists that “differences in gestures were due solely to racial inheritance” (Ekman, 7). He compared groups of immigrant Southern Italians and Eastern Jews, living in New York City, by using direct observation and recording the outward gestures of this collection of people. These observations were then evaluated and studied to determine whether there were group differences between them. Efron went even further to research whether there…show more content…
Gunther did not believe environment had anything to do with the way a group of people gestured. Another theory, published by L. F. Clauss, claimed that the “human body is a ‘stage’ on which the psycho-racial traits of the individual manifest themselves in the form of facial movement, gesture, voice, etc.” (Efron, 25). Clauss theorized that there were six different types of race, and each had its own characteristic gesticulations. Of these forms, he categorized into the following: restrained, playful, explosive, etc. Expressive movement theory was studied by Albert Gehring, who asserted that different races had different mentalities. He examined the Graeco-Latins and found them to be lively and quick tempered, whereas the Teutons were more deliberate in their motions. Again, this theorist did not take into account the environment in which a person lived. Wilhelm Bohle claimed that human behavior was not affected very much by environment, but it is “the inner” character of an individual that patterns his experiences (Efron, 32). His claim was that each person fit into one of the following categories: affective type (quiet), motor type (slow or energetic), or perceptive type (sensory). Like the rest of the logicians, Mr. Bohle did not have any concrete evidence to support his theory. Theorist Karl Skraup claimed that there were five different factors of bodily motion: intellect, occupation, temperament,
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