Culture and Nonverbal Communication in Italy


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Culture and Nonverbal Communication in Italy

  1. 1. Culture and Nonverbal communication in Italy<br />Presented by Kaylee Berry, WitneyEstus, Susie Nash, Malia Ramos and Jolene Silzell<br />
  2. 2. Italian Culture and Nonverbal Communication ispresented is to inform the audience of Italy’s rich culture and how to communicate effectively with it’s people.<br />Music: Presented by Kaylee Berry<br />Art: Presented by Jolene Silzell<br />Kinesics: Presented by Susie Nash<br />Eye Contact and Haptics: Presented by WitneyEstus<br />Appearance: Presented by Malia Ramos<br />
  3. 3. The first concept of communication that we will explore is Italian music, because as you will learn, it is a major part of Italy’s cultureItalian MusicBy: Kaylee Berry<br />
  4. 4. The History of Italian Music<br />Historically, Opera has been a big part of Italian society. <br />Opera music was founded in Italy in 1607 to “commemorate the annual festival of Mantua” (Kwintessential, 2010)<br />During the 18th century, the “Castrati,”castrated Italian males, were taught beginning in childhood <br /> to sing soprano and mezzo for church <br /> choirs <br />In the late 18th century, the very dramatic <br /> “Opera buffa,”meaning “comic Opera” <br /> became popular<br />
  5. 5. Italian Music Today<br />*Italian music today is heavily influenced by “other European and western countries” (Italia Mia Network, 2010)<br />*Opera is still a major part of Italian society; and many of today’s famous Opera singers come from Italy<br />*Some music styles common in Italy today are Pop, Punk Rock, and Hip Hop<br />
  6. 6. Music as a Form of Communication<br />Nobody can deny that music is a very powerful form of communication. It can make us think a certain way about something, or even cheer us up<br />“The intensity of the message depends on the appropriate melody, and on the way the singer/artist performed the song. In other words, the message o the song depends on how the singer/artist has given life to the song” (Stargazer, 2008) <br />“Communication is about creating meaning” (Beebe , p. 6., 2010)<br />
  7. 7. In addition to music, art is also an integral element of Italian culture and communication.<br />Italian Art<br />By Jolene Silzell<br />Italian culture has a rich history in art in which it provides cultural identity to the people. The artists have “left their mark on every major artistic movement of the western world” (Austin, 1996).<br />
  8. 8. Italian Art: History<br />Among the earliest forms of Italian art are wall frescoes that are found on graves. This is done when the artists paints on fresh plaster so that when it dries the painting becomes part of the plaster which helps it survive. (Wikipedia, 2007)<br />The Renaissance was a defining moment in history that was the most productive period in the history of art. Large numbers of masters including Donatello, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael come from all major fields of art. (Gilbert, 2007)<br />New Attitudes towards artists began to form and were considered part of the liberal arts in Italy which was “regarded as being on a higher level” and the ideas of the artistic geniuses became popular around the country as well as the rest of the world (Gilbert,2007).<br />An interest in Roman culture as well as mathematics, and science lead to an explosion of increased knowledge leading to a more fluid and anesthetically pleasing form of art as the artists’ “pursuit in beauty became widespread” (Austin, 1996).<br />
  9. 9. Italian Art: Subjects<br />Primary subjects were religious based, such as biblical scenes and saints from the Bible. The very first paintings were flat and lacked luster and the figures in the picture were fairly primitive in anatomical form. (Gilbert, 2007)<br />Because the peaked interest in science and mathematics occurred in the Renaissance era, people became more knowledgeable of bodily proportions as well as figured out how to make the picture look three dimensional.<br />Biblical based subjects occurred in Italian art because the people in this culture were influenced heavily by their faith in the Catholic Church during the Renaissance.<br />
  10. 10. Italian Art: Nonverbal Communication<br /> Artists try to portray a message or emotion within their painting, sculpture , architecture etc. This gives their audience a deeper connection or additional knowledge about their subjects.<br />“Nonverbal cues can register our senses from a variety of sources simultaneously” (Beebe, 2008). This means that because we can only focus on one thing at a time that taking time to take in each source to understand what the artist is trying to achieve in their piece.<br />Michelangelo sculpted David with a tense, stern look yet with great beauty in each curve of his body. Michelangelo did this because he believed this was the tie when David was about to face the giant and it was “the moment of his greatest courage” (Chew, 2010). So to depict this great moment in the Bible, Michelangelo used nonverbal images within David’s face to create such an emotion.<br />
  11. 11. Now that you have learned of the importance of music and art in the Italian culture, Susie will present the concept of kinesics.<br />Kinesics: The use of human movement, gesture and posture in communication (Beebe (Et. Al) ,2010, p. 95) Presented by Susie Nash<br />Italy is a very high context culture, meaning it is “a culture in which people derive much information from nonverbal and environmental cues and less information from the words of a message. “(Beebe (Et. Al) ,2010, p. 152)<br />Italian culture is rich in it’s use of kinesics, thus it would be wise to study the numerous travel guides available the Italian traveler so that they do not offend or confuse their hosts and so they will understand their host’s nonverbal language.<br />
  12. 12. Gestures: “Visible bodily actions communicate particular messages, either in place of speech or together and in parallel with spoken words”<br />When meeting an Italian for the first time, be ready to shake hands, but if they come at you be ready to air kiss.<br />The air kiss is simply pressing your cheek to someone else’s, starting with the right cheek and moving to the left; lip contact is not necessary, but ok. <br /><br />Image from<br />
  13. 13. Emblems:“nonverbal cues that have specific, widely understood meanings in a given culture and may actually substitute for a word or phrase” (Beebe (Et. Al), 2010, p. 96)<br />Italians have an extensive emblem vocabulary and if you visit there, you would be wise to learn some of them in advance.<br />If you did not study your travel guide, you might not know that this Italian is telling you, “I cannot stand this situation/person/thing any longer” and you could possibly make the situation worse! <br /><br />Image from<br />
  14. 14. Illustrator: A nonverbal behavior that accompanies a verbal message and either complements, contradicts, or accents it (Beebe (Et. Al), 2010, p. 96) <br />“Italians use body language and hand gestures to punctuate an expression and give it a shading that the word or phrase itself lacks.”<br />Image from<br />This Italian is reinforcing his verbal communication by signaling, “Are you mad?!”<br />
  15. 15. Avoidance:<br />Avert eyes<br />Cross arms<br />Lean back<br />Close Mouth<br />Regulator:A nonverbal behavior that helps to control the interaction or level of communication between people. (Beebe (Et. Al), 2010, p. 97) Italy and America are similar in how we regulate our communication:<br />Interest:<br />Eye contact<br />Raised brows<br />Lean in<br />Smile<br />
  16. 16. Eye contact andHaptics<br />~The Italian Way~<br />In addition to music, art and kinesics, eye contact and haptics play an integral role in Italian communication.<br />By Witney Estus<br />
  17. 17. Eye Contact<br />Italians are one culture that relies heavily<br />on eye contact.<br />Eye behavior is most often associated with the understanding of deception.<br /> (as cited in Beebe (Et. Al) (2010), p. 98) <br />
  18. 18. Eye Contact <br />Italians use eye contact to depict how honest one is.<br />Intense direct eye contact is common, looking away is a sign of disinterest and/or that you are behaving rude.<br />ALSO <br />Maintain eye contact while talking, it is considered that you are hiding something if you look away. (Bosrock, 2010) <br />
  19. 19. Haptics<br />Touch is one of the most powerful forms of<br />non verbal communication<br />A kiss on the check when first meeting a friend is most common in Italy.<br />Shaking hands is also very common<br />When meeting ladies must always shake the mans hand first.<br />When meeting for get together, they shake everyone hands, including children, then again when leaving (Bosrock, 2010) <br />
  20. 20. Italian Differences<br />What may seem odd in America, to Italians is just their common way of life.<br />Whistling and winking at women is meant as a compliment and is not used in a degrading way. If a woman is interested she will acknowledge the whistlers with eye contact, if she is not she will ignore them.<br />Italians stand much closer to one another than Americans do and it is common for men to walk down the street arm and arm and also women to walk down the street arm and arm. (Lehmann, 2008) <br />
  21. 21. Music, Art, Kinesics, eye contact, and haptics are cues of nonverbal communication but just as important is the nonverbal communication expression of Appearance.<br />What you wear can tell people a lot about you before you open your mouth to speak. In fact, many psychologists agree that close to 90 percent of what people remember about an encounter is related to nonverbal communication, a large portion of that being your overall appearance and demeanor <br />( White, 2007)<br />Let’s Learn Italian/<br />By Malia Ramos<br />
  22. 22. Appearance in Non-Verbal Communication <br />“Many Cultures around the world place a high value on Appearance (Beebe, 2008)”<br />As in all other forms of non-verbal communication, appearance, is culture bound (Beebe, 2008)<br />Clothing and artifacts (tattoos, jewelry, etc) are a way to convey one’s culture (Beebe,2008)<br />Appearance may also project emotions, social status, and adequacy ("Italy - language," )<br />
  23. 23. Appearance Matters in Italy<br />Appearances Matter in Italy!!<br /> In Italy, The way you dress can indicate your social status, your family's background, and your education level (White, 2007)<br />First impressions matter. Italians tend to size people up based on first appearances. ("Living in italy," 2007 )<br />("First impressions," 2007)<br />
  24. 24. Bella Figura<br />Presentation and impression are all-important to Italians and are referred to as bella presenza or bella figura (literally beautiful presentation or figure) ("Social customs in," 2010)<br />“Individual physical attractiveness is a variable attribute, resource, and status characteristic that has evaluative meaning if people who are more attractive are more highly rewarded (Haas, & Stanford, 2005)”<br /> Bella figura is more than dressing well. It extends to the aura your project too - i.e. confidence, style, demeanor.<br />(“Everybody loves an”, 2007)<br />
  25. 25. “Clothing functions as a way to<br /> convey one’s culture”(Beebe,2008)<br />("Exploring true italian," 2010)<br />The video above illustrates the importance of fashion in Italian Culture.<br />
  26. 26. How to dress for Italy<br />People dress more formally in Italy. Therefore dress your best!<br />Simple, elegant clothes are normal attire<br />Italians consider bathing costumes, skimpy tops and flip-flops or sandals with no socks strictly for the beach or swimming pool <br />Informal Attire- Informal generally means tastefully coordinated clothes, sometimes including a jacket and tie for men.<br />“formal” dress usually means formal evening wear<br />Jeans are not appropriate for church (White,2007)<br />Remember first impressions are lasting impressions in Italy!<br />
  27. 27. This study of Italian Culture shows:<br />Music is a powerful form of communication; which is important in Italian culture<br />Italian culture has a rich history in art in which it provides cultural identity to the people<br />Kinesics-The high context culture of Italy shows that Italians rely more on nonverbal communication, as opposed to words<br />Italians rely heavily on eye contact. The use of haptics (touch) is used to greet one another<br />Italians place emphasis on appearance; just as many other cultures; “which influences perceptions of credibility and status” (Beebe S., 2010)<br />
  28. 28. Questions: <br />What are some popular genres of music in Italy today?<br />What are some common ways that Italians regulate their conversations?<br />What changes were brought upon Italian art and artists during the Renaissance era?<br />In Italy, Eye Contact usually determines a persons honesty. Do you judge someone's honesty by their eye contact?<br />What is Bella Figura?<br />
  29. 29. References:<br />Beebe, Steve and Susan. Blue Book of Communications. 5th Ed. Boston: Pearson, 2010. Pp98-100<br />Berger, K. S. (2008). Development through the lifespan: seventh edition. New York: Worth Publishers<br />Encyclopedia of Communication and Information. Volume 2. USA: Macmillan Reference, 2002. Pp 669-673<br />Websites used:<br />Bosrock, Murray. (2010). Italy. Retrieved from<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Greeting kiss picture<br /><br /> Girl/Girl holding arms <br />Italia Mia Network, . (2010). An Introduction to italian popular music. Retrieved from <br />opera buffa. (2010). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved May 17, 2010, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online:<br />Stargazer, L. (2008, May 11). The Triangle of communication through music. Retrieved from<br />Unknown, Author. (2010, May 15). Italian culture guide: music in italy. Retrieved from <br />Valley, S.K. (2010, May 14). Bel canto, bella lingua: the italian connection. Retrieved from<br />
  30. 30. References Continued:<br />First impressions. (2007). [Web]. Retrieved from<br />Social customs in italy. (2010). Retrieved from<br />Haas, A, & Stanford, G. (2005).  The Impact of physical attractiveness on women's social status and interactional power. Sociological Forum, 20(3), Retrieved from<br />Everyone loves an italian girl. (2009, August 26). Retrieved from<br />Exploring true italian fashion . (2010). [Web]. Retrieved from<br />White, S. (2007). Effective nonverbal communication cues: your mode of dress plays a key role. Retrieved from<br />Italy - language, culture, customs and etiquette. (n.d.). Retrieved from <br />Living in italy and customs to know about. (2007, October 20). Retrieved from<br />Austin, J. S. (2008, August). Art in the renaissance. Retrieved from<br />Chew, R. (1996, March). Michelangelo renaissance art. Retrieved from<br />Gilbert, K. (2007, June). Italian renaissance art. Retrieved from<br />WikiPedia, (2007). Art in italy. Wikipedia: the free encyclopedia. Retrieved (2010, May 12) from<br />Let’s Learn Italian. Retrieved May 21, 2010, Retrieved from<br />