Communication culture and gesture use

Karen Pine, Kerttu Huttunen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


Speaking culture affects both verbal and non-verbal behaviour of children and adults. People use time, voice and space differently in communication, depending on their cultural background. In this chapter we introduce some features of speaking cultures and non-verbal communication that are characteristic to Eastern and Western cultures. Use of gestures, for example, reflects the typical communication style used in the environment. We present examples from Japanese culture representing Eastern orientations, and give examples from several Western cultures. Features of Finnish culture are introduced to exemplify the variation within Western cultures.. We make a special reference to children’s language development and current knowledge of the cultural differences between children’s gesture use in different countries. Emptiness (silence) in the area of nonverbal communication is exemplified by an absence of speech-accompanying gestures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSense of Emptiness
Subtitle of host publicationCognitive Perspectives
EditorsJ. Toyota, P. Hallonsten, M. Shchepetunina
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing (CSP)
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)1-4438-3583-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-4438-3583-1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


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