Homosexuality Research Over the past decade the author has been presenting seminars, speeches and workshops around the United States on the subject of international behavior. This book is the result of accumulation of more than ten years of research on the subject and it includes research on his travels to England, Germany, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. All this reinforced a conviction that gestures are powerful communicators used by people all over the world. The purpose of this book is to let people know how powerful gestures can be when used correctly or incorrectly. He also wants you to know how a gesture can mean one thing here and another thing somewhere else, something as simple as a wave good bye, could get you into a lot of trouble in another country. This book was broken down into seven chapters: Chapter 1, illustrated with numerous examples, is that not only are gestures and body language powerful communicators, but different cultures use gestures and body language in dramatically different ways.
Chapter 2 discusses the most popular gestures found around the world, beginning with how we greet each other. Shaking hand is not the universal greeting. In fact, there are at least a half-dozen other social greetings – even different ways of shaking hands. This chapter also deals with farewells, beckoning, insulting, touching and other types of gestures. Chapter 3 gets into the special types of gestures such as, American Sign Language, Tai Chi, flirting & kissing. Chapter 4 is designed to help you learn or trace a particular gesture, using scores of drawings. Chapter 5 describes what the author calls the ultimate gesture, which is simply the smile. It is rarely misunderstood, scientist believe this particular gesture releases chemicals in the brain called endorphins into the system that create a mild feeling of euphoria.
It also may help you slip out of the prickliest or difficult situation’s world wide. Chapter 6 is an important list of gestures to keep in mind. It is compiled of 20 gestures that can help you separate right from rude, and rude from crude. Chapter 7 is a listing of country-by-country common gestures and body languages. They group the countries by major geographic region.
The organization of the book was a combination of narrative and topical. The basic point of view of the entire book was that if you are planning to leave the United States and travel to another country, you better either keep your hands in you pockets at all times or know the proper gesture for the country you intend on visiting. I would like to site some examples. An American teenager was hitchhiking in Nigeria. A carload of locals passed him. The car screeched to a halt.
The locals jumped out and promptly roughed up the teenage visitor. Why? Because in Nigeria, the gesture commonly used in America for hitchhiking (thumb extended upward) is considered a very rude signal. An American couple on an auto tour in Australia was stopped by a police officer in Sydney for failing to signal before turning. Since they were tourists the officer gave them only a friendly warning. Relieved, the American man responded with a smile and the thumbs-up sign. The police officer became enraged, ordered the couple out of the car, called a backup, searched the car, and finally gave the driver an expensive ticket.
Later, back in their hotel and recounting their experience, the tourist learned that in Australia the thumbs-up gesture means screw you! As you can see this book has a humorous, but yet serious overtone. It covers important aspects of body languages & gestures in society which is serious stuff, that has a very strong impact on all that come in contact with you. Yet the author is able to express it in a comical nature. I enjoyed the book immensely. There are many ways the ideas in this book can be related to sociology. In fact the whole book is directly related to the subject of sociology especially the culture aspect of it.
I will explain in the following paragraphs. Anthologists divide our actions and gestures into three broad categories: instinctive, coded and acquired. Instinctive gestures are those we do almost unconsciously. An example would be when we are suddenly shocked or surprised, we tend to slap the back of our heads. Coded, or technical, gestures are created by preestablished agreement. For example hand signals used by TV directors, referees, umpires and brokers in the stock market. Acquired gestures, meaning our socially generated and acquired gestures.
This grouping of gestures has been loosely and informally collected among separate societies. The acquired gestures come from different cultures. Each individual culture or sub-culture has its very own acquired gestures or mannerisms. I learned the difference between what we, as Americans, consider to be consensual in the area of gestures. If you attempt to take your American gestures and attitudes to another country, you’re in for quite the culture shock.
An example of the culture shock you may experience if you were to enter a European home would be that they always keep the bathroom door shut. Even when it is not occupied. As where an American home usually keeps its bathroom door partially open to indicate that the it is unoccupied. So in Europe, you would always knock on the door first. Touching is something that we as North Americans are not big on.
We are not touch-oriented. With good friends, we may occasionally do some touching of the forearm or shoulder. We may even hug our good friends, but almost never do we hug casual acquaintances. Asians even join us in the shunning of such bodily contact. Latinos and Middle Easterners seem to dote on it with hearty embraces and warm pats on the back.
In these places you may even see two male friends walking hand-in-hand down the street together, and all it signifies is friendship. If you were to see that on any street in the U.S. the first thing we as Americans would think is Hey those guys are homosexuals. The differences in culture are amazing, Especially in the areas of gestures. A person lacking knowledge of this could find himself in hot wate …