This Handbook provides an up-to-date discussion of the central issues in nonverbal communication and examines the research that informs these issues. Editors Valerie Manusov and Miles Patterson bring together preeminent scholars, from a range of disciplines, to reveal the strength of nonverbal behavior as an integral part of communication.

Chapter 7: 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 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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