Many accounts of human communication suggest that we are limited to communicating through words, visual images, the mass media and by digital means. This perspective underestimates the multi-sensory qualities of much of our human interconnecting and the multiple sounds, touches, sights and material objects which humans use so creatively to interconnect both nearby and across space and time.
Ruth Finnegan brings together research from linguistic and sensory anthropology, alternative approaches to 'material culture' and 'the body', non-verbal communication, cultural studies, computer-mediated communication, and illuminating work on animal communication. Examples from both western and non-western cultures together with plentiful illustrations enrich and deepen the analysis.
The book uncovers the amazing array of sounds, sights, smells, gestures, looks,
movements, touches and material objects which humans use so creatively to interconnect both nearby and across space and time - resources consistently underestimated in those western ideologies that prioritise 'rationality' and referential language.
Focussing on embodied and material processes, and on practice rather than text, this comparative analysis challenges the underlying cognitive and word-centred model common to many approaches to communication.
The second edition includes a new introduction, updates to take account of recent work, an additional chapter covering ethereal non-verbal non-bodily communicating such as telepathy and dreams, fresh illustrations, a new conclusion and updated bibliography.
This authoritative but accessible book is an essential transdisciplinary overview for researchers and advanced students in language and communication, anthropology and cultural studies. .
Praise for the first edition:
"It's an ideal work for students of anthropology, cultural studies and of course, communication, but would also be of interest to anyone who wants an insight into how human beings work with each other, and how far we have come in achieving this."
Peter Taylor-Whiffen, The Independent
Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication by Ruth Finnegan is a pioneering work in the art of communication, a work that is filled with information that will surprise the majority of readers. In a masterful way, Finnegan explores the subtleties of language and communication, going beyond the traditional methods of communication to demonstrate that there are multiple layers of intelligence that allow both humans and animals to interconnect and communicate with each other. The work draws strength from seemingly long years of research into history, traditions, cultures, literature, and anthropology. Finnegan lifts the veil of mystery from the diverse universes and channels of communication that can be found beyond the use of words, sounds, and visual images, to reveal non-verbal and beyond-the-body modes of communication that are stunning.
Ruth Finnegan's Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication is one of those rare books that will assist linguistic students and students of social anthropology as a splendid reference book, and it will most certainly help anyone to enhance their communication skills and to develop the acute sense of receiving non-verbal messages from anyone. Through dint of research, the author demonstrates that communication can become even easier if we hone the vast array of communication channels that are available to us. Finnegan has so skillfully established herself as an expert in the art of communication, offering readers a work that is as rich and educative as it is entertaining. Her expression is simple and she uses many examples to pass her message across. Beautiful written, laced with surprising facts, this book will help anyone who wants to deepen their communication skills and anyone who wants to easily reach out and connect with others. Finnegan seems to be set on restoring the lost art of communication and is not just a wonderful researcher; she has the gift of putting into words what can be very difficult to understand. This book will enrich the lives of many people.
Reviewed By Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite - 5 stars
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Nonfiction Length: 360 Pages
Release Date: February 14, 2014, Second Edition
• ISBN/ASIN: 0415837782
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About the Author
Ruth Finnegan OBE is Emeritus Professor, The Open University, Fellow of the British Academy and Hon. Fellow Somerville College Oxford.
She was born and reared in Ulster and Donegal in a family committed to reconciling the deep divides in Ulster and in the world, went to a Quaker school in York, followed by a first-class Oxford degree in classics/philosophy. Then African fieldwork, an Oxford doctorate in literary anthropology, university teaching in Africa, then many years ( with a short period in Fiji), with the pioneering Open University (UK) where she is now an honorary research professor.
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