Document Type

Senior Thesis

Publication Date



Kinesics, a term coined by anthropologist Ray Birdwhistell, is the study nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication is primarily conducted through the use of gestures, facial expressions, and body language. These sometimes subtle cues are estimated to convey as much as seventy percent of the context of a conversation. In this thesis, I review the origin of the field of kinesics in anthropology, the development of subfields, its introduction into other various fields of study, and its significance today. Using citation analysis, I show the movement kinesics through various disciplines. This significant field of research has progressed from a research topic centered in anthropology to a subject studied by psychologists, linguists, and professional speakers. An in-depth examination of the available literature shows the major contributions of kinesics scholarship in anthropology and in other fields.

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Anthropology Commons