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Fieldwork on Kinesics (Essay Sample)


The task examines how different types of gestures (non-verbal communication means are used by people. It is more of a personal experience assignment, where the student had to visit a place, say a hotel, observe and note down different gestures that different people used, and come up with a structured essay written in the first person pronoun.


Fieldwork on Kinesics
The importance of nonverbal communication is equal to that of verbal communication. Both abilities are intertwined and necessary to avoid misunderstandings. Nonverbal communication refers to communication that takes place without the use of words. Some argue that body language, not words, communicates the best. Studies on kinesics- the study of body behaviour and motion- show that people interact with different gestures (Pham et al., 2018). For instance, adaptors, emblems, regulators, illustrators, and affect displays. Most people tend to use gestures as they interact in most of their conversations. Without gestures as a form of non-verbal communication, it is impossible to communicate effectively and fluently in physical interaction. Usually, most common gestures are used in conjunction with words during a face-to-face interaction, giving the message a distinct meaning. However, since it substitutes the structured, verbal element of the communication found in speech, a particular sort of gesture, the token move, may be presented in complete silence. Gestures stand out as the primary form of non-verbal communication, and it wouldn't be practical to communicate non-verbally without them.
Observing and Studying Gestures at the Sightglass Coffee.
Over the weekend, visited Sightglass Coffee and ordered a cup of coffee. The shop was busy as many people came in to have a cup for the evening out-hours, others from workplaces and homes. I took advantage of the scene to study how people interacted with gestures. It was evident that many of them used gestures to reinforce or emphasize the meaningfulness of their speech. They would shake hands, nod, and smile. Others were seated comfortably as some girls were twirling their hair. Some middle-aged men were comfortably listening to music at the left exit of the shop, and they were tapping their fingers on the table with the same pace as that of the track as the song tuned.
I observed a group of around six girls, and one seemed to be storytelling the rest. Most of them put their hands on their faces- adaptors- to show the reaction to the flow of the story. I identified the use of emblems since most of them would clap their hands, smile, and frown their faces at different sections of the storytelling session (Hayaert, 2019). When it seemed late, one of them was looking at her wristwatch and confirming if it was time to pick up their ordered cups of coffee. She would stare at the batch order numbers displayed on the order screen and the dashboard to verify if they were almost ready. The other girls looked at their nails and scrubbed their hair, looking bored.
At the cashier desk, I identified the use of illustrators. A customer pointed to the image of the size of coffee he had ordered so that there were no delays during the order delivery. After the order delivery and transactions, the customer waved at the cashier as he left the shop. Waving is a motor gesture. He also lifted his right-hand thumb to show that he was satisfied with the service and walked away whistling. It seemed that the man used gestures regularly because I identified most of these within a short period. I doubt he even didn't notice that he had normalized the use of gestures.
Again, at the cashier's desk, there was a man who seemed to have been disappointed by the shop's services. He made use of regulators in that he would lean forward when I thought he was maybe in a hurry. He consistently looked at his watch every time the cashier talked to him. He seemed to be late to go somewhere. When he picked up his cup of coffee, he walked away fast, raising his hands and frowned his face as if someone had disappointed him.

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