Body language and social order

Scheflen, Albert Edward; and Scheflen, Alice 1972. Body language and social order: communication as behavioral control. Englewood Cliffs (N.J.): Prentice-Hall.
Thus, at present, there are in the behavioral sciences two schools of thought about bodily behavior. In the psychological school, "nonverbal" communication is considered to be the expression of emotions, as it has always been in Western thought. From the communicational point of view (held primarily by anthropologists and ethologists) the behaviors of posture, touch, and movement are studied in relation to social processes like group cohesion and group regulation.
We will see in this book that these views are not incompatible. The behaviors of human communication are both expressive and social or communicational. (Scheflen 1972: xii-xiii)
In short, animals (including man) can face each other and engage in exchanges or displays of aggressive or affiliative behavior that do not excalate to physical engagement. Elements of an action represent the entire action, whether or not it reaches consummation. Any escalating nonlanguage face-to-face interaction we call a "reciprocal." (Scheflen 1972: 6)
Ähvardus on metonüümia.
To some degree the domesticated mammals and the primates can use kinesic behavior or sounds "on purpose"; i.e., they can produce them not simply as reflex actions to environmental stimuli, but apart from the stimuli. (Scheflen 1972: 8)
Some kinds of teaching are carried out in twosome and rely primarily on demonstration. In this example, actonic, or "physical task," behaviors (M. Harris, 1964) are shown to a child. (Scheflen 1972: 22)
Kinesic behavior instructs about, qualifies, modifies, and directs the behaviors of human communication which are in progress. When we speak of communication about the ongoing communication, we use the term "metacommunication" (Bateson, 1955). The signals, cues, and monitors that influence the stream of activities will be termed "metabehaviors." These kinesic acts are different in function from the simple gestures that depict a concept and punctuate the stream of speech. (Scheflen 1972: 58-59)
In the simpler situation the participants have similar backgrounds and share a common repertoire of activity programs. When they assemble on a particular occasion at a particular place, they know pretty much what is supposed to be done. If they are old friends, relatives, or business associates they may have already established routines for their gatherings. In many cases the participants have been instructed beforehand about why they are meeting or, in more formal situations, they are provided with an agenda at the beginning of the meeting. (Scheflen 1972: 61)
A situation is defined by the place, the occasion, and the conduct of the participants - their affiliation and their style and manners. All participants contribute to knowing what behavior is expected and what program should be used. At each point of decision or option, a specific instruction signal will be given about how to proceed. (Scheflen 1972: 62)
Generally speaking, whites interpret gaze avoidance as shame, evasiveness, or submission, while Blacks interpret middle-class face-to-face gazing as a putdown or a confrontation. These differences in gaze behavior dissappear in the Black middle-class of the present generation. Eye avoidance is, as we noted earlier, also not used by the Black militant, who may quite actively use the gaze as a belligerent confrontation. (Scheflen 1972: 96)
Abusing the gaze.
Stylized, method-acting versions of emotional expressions, close distance, and touch are also used by many of the new liberal therapies. These contrived kinesic-like acts are used to simulate "real" caring or "real" anger.
The people who use these stylized kinesic behaviors know little about natural kinesic behaviors. They seem honestly to believe that they are expressing "real" emotion as opposed to what they consider the false affects of our culture. However, using and teaching these contrived systems of facial, tactile, and spacing behavior introduces a sad paradox. When we seek to approach communication in this way, we threaten to make kinesic communciation as untrustworthy as language. (Scheflen 1972: 101)
We will describe three types of monitors: (1) simple responses that are probably universal in man; (2) signals that are often elaborations of these responses in the custom of a particular tradition; and (3) self-censure. (Scheflen 1972: 105)
Sometimes the mere glance of the orienting reflex toward the source of disturbance will be sufficient to extinguish it. A man who has been scratching himself lustily sees others looking at him, for example, and he immediately stops scratching. Or a passerby sees others looking and so he stops singing or walking noisily until he has passed out of earshot. (Scheflen 1972: 106)
Gaze-control, Self-censure; blockquote.
We must not assume that kinesic censure is simply imposed by conventional people on rebels and deviants; often it is the transgressor himself who performs the monitor. (Scheflen 1972: 112)
Each person may have a multifaceted personality and a large repertoire of possible performances, but at any given transaction he is supposed to specialize. He is expected to reduce the variability of his activities and take a particular role which he is to carry out in a customary and predictable way. In this role at least, the talents, styles, inclinations, and affiliations of a particular person tend to be constant for many years or even for a lifetime. (Scheflen 1972: 126)
Fixing blame and causation stems from the practice of looking selectively and prejudicially at elements of a context and from grandly exaggerating human powers. It is widely believed in Western society that human behavior is caused by the thoughts and feelings of the behavor as though he decided on everything he did. But human behavior is not generally transcontextual. To remain this omnipotent about behavior, man often has had to add a linguistic comment to his contextual behavior to reinforce the illusion that he caused it. But the fact is that human behavior is usually a very automatic fulfillment of traditional programs or a nonconscious response to contextual change. (Scheflen 1972: 130)
If the kinesic monitors are enacted by people of sufficient status or authority, they will be effective with nothing at all being said. (Scheflen 1972: 141)



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