Academic journal article Journal of Media Research

The Definitive Book of Body Language

Academic journal article Journal of Media Research

The Definitive Book of Body Language

Article excerpt

Allan Pease and Barbara Pease The Definitive Book of Body Language Orion Publishing House, London, 2004 ISBN: 0752861689

Allan and Barbara Pease's 382-page book is structured into 19 chapters and is dedicated to all those who "have good eyesight, but cannot see". One of the most striking features of this volume is not only the extensive bibliography at the end of the book, but also the fact that it succeeds to highlight and illustrate the significance of body language through its numerous images, drawings, caricatures and, first and foremost, the authors' writing style.

The book provides deep insight into the subject of non-verbal communication: the comprehensive and well-structured introduction that details the main features and the basic concepts of this form of communication is followed by an in-depth analysis of the various types of non-verbal communication, including gestures (with emphasis on hands, arms and feet), facial expressions (eye contact and the mouth: smiling and smirking), proxemics, as well as territorial and distance behaviour. The remaining chapters map those signals that express appraisal and attraction gestures, identify cultural and gender differences, but also offer advice to those who want to exhibit an appropriate non-verbal expression at job interviews or at work. Chapters 11 and 13 are especially interesting and readworthy. In chapter 11 the authors present and describe the 13 gestures and signals that are the most frequently used in day to day communication. These include head up, head down, leg-over-the-arm-of-chair, straddling a chair or the starter's position.

Chapter 13 is dedicated to the secret signals of cigarettes, glasses and makeup. The fact that there are two types of smokers, addicted and social smokers, is stressed along with the fact that the smoking population manifests gender-specific differences when it comes to this habit. The next chapter teaches readers how to read glasses, what the shape and size of this accessory mean, but also the meaning of make-up. Chapter 19 is entitled Putting it all together and is presented as a recap-exercise. …

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