Nonverbal Communication And The Social Norms Of Communication

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While communication across cultures relies on speech to convey the messages of those living in the same society, usually the unspoken language has a larger role to play in delivering these messages. Similar to the country’s language being specific to the region it surfaces from, body language and facial expressions also have individual characteristics within a particular region. There are shared attributes of nonverbal communication across the world but these are commonly divided into high and low context cultures. This results from different cultural beliefs and attitudes within such societies and impact on the social norms of communication. In Japan, the citizens communicate with actions and gestures to a larger percent in comparison to their speech, as they are able to understand each other’s meaning without additional words. Due to it being a high context culture Japan relies heavily on its nonverbal communication for its society to function efficiently and for adequate comprehension to be achieved.

In the Japanese community there are body language and facial expressions particularly directed towards family and social orientated interaction. These interactions concentrate on how nonverbal communication occurs through gestures during speech and the effect visuals have on an individual. These elements of the communication style are what construct Japan as the country it is today, one still positioned (“Japan Nonverbal Communication”, 2001, para.1) around a high context
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