Nonverbal Communication: Where Nature Meets Culture

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Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 309 pages
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The search for the biological foundations of human culture inevitably leads to nonverbal communication. Superficial intuition suggests that nonverbal communication is a sine qua non for the evolution of sociality. Without it, the diversity and sophistication of today's social systems would be unimaginable. However, there is the opposite hypothesis that the evolution of nonverbal communication may in part be the result of our being thoroughly social entities: Our sociality itself may have amplified the evolution of a capacity we share with other primates but have developed to a degree unequaled by any other species. Advances in the evolution of nonverbal communication as presented in this volume will certainly contribute to further insights into the intricacies of the biological and the social worlds.

This volume grew out of a conference at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Bielefeld, Germany. The conference was organized by a research group working on the overarching theme of "Biological Foundations of Human Culture," so that scholars in such wide-ranging areas as biology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, primatology, history, and philosophy of science could present and discuss recent approaches toward a biologically and sociologically founded understanding of human culture. This pluralistic perspective made it possible to bring the diverse disciplinary approaches into fruitful dialogue.

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About the author (1997)

Peter Molnar is a Senior Research Fellow in communications law at the Center for Media and Communication Studies at Central European University. A former member of the Hungarian Parliament, Molnar was one of the drafters of the 1996 Hungarian media law. He has been teaching communications law since 1994 at ELTE University and since 2007 at the Central European University, in Budapest. Molnar was a German Marshall Fellow, twice a Fulbright Fellow and a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University. In 2006, he drafted the Declaration for the Freedom of the Internet and in 2007 the staged version of his novel, Searchers, won awards for best alternative and best independent play in Hungary.

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