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Ross Buck & Stacie Renfro Powers

In: The SAGE Handbook of Nonverbal Communication

Chapter 7: The Biological Foundations of Social Organization: The Dynamic Emergence of Social Structure Through Nonverbal Communication

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The Biological Foundations of Social Organization: The Dynamic Emergence of Social Structure Through Nonverbal Communication
The biological foundations of social organization: The dynamic emergence of social structure through nonverbal communication

The functioning of any system involves communication between system elements, and this chapter argues that social structure emerges during individual development via nonverbal communication between elements—that is, between individuals. In this chapter, we present a view of social structure as an emergent, self-organizing dynamic system, and we seek to demonstrate the critical role of nonverbal communication in this emergence. We review evidence relevant to this thesis, arguing that even simple organisms show evidence of motivational-emotional systems underlying basic behavior and sociality. These systems exist not only within the individual organism but also “out there” in ...

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