Cultural Impact on Space and Silence as Nonverbal Communication

This semester, Professor Kim and I are working to complete the two research papers we have been working on collaboratively for the past 7 months. While previously our work consisted of gathering information and presenting it clearly to the reader, we are now doing fine-tuning to prepare these papers for potential publishing.

Our first paper, regarding cultural preferences for personal space, is being altered to the requests of our reviewers. By utilizing surveys and research, the paper depicts and explains the cultural similarities and differences regarding appropriate personal space. We concluded that ultimately, though culture may impact how close individuals stand to one another, the surveyed individuals expressed similar concerns when determining their proximity to others. Though the paper was already presented at a conference for teachers in multicultural situations, we are working with the suggestions of our reviewers for the second stage of review. The process of trying to have a fresh perspective when reviewing a writing piece from months earlier is more difficult than I expected. While in one respect it is encouraging to have similar conclusions now as during the first round of writing, it is also frustrating to not be able to produce new findings. Herein, I have found, lies the benefit of collaborative work. Professor Kim is excellent at asking probing questions which allow you to reflect on the information at hand in a new way. By engaging in conversations and bouncing ideas back and forth, progress is made easier and is usually more productive. Within the next two weeks, this paper should be ready for 2nd review  to our chosen publication.

We are also working to complete our second paper, regarding silence as a means of nonverbal communication in different cultures, in these same two weeks to get ready for initial review. Our research and survey outcomes are indicating that despite culture, individuals are evenly divided regarding their feelings toward silence, whether it is comfortable, uncomfortable, or dependent on the other individuals in the conversation. Rationales, or the reasons why individuals feel one way or another, do generally permeate cultural divides. Our intention is to complete our findings and implications section in a cohesive and clear way. My current project is compiling our conclusions from our various sources and survey responses. This will allow patterns and themes within these findings to become more apparent, and simplify the writing process. Following this section, we have our conclusion and then minor editing to the entire piece overall.

I am very grateful for this experience, because through this process I feel that I have improved as a writer, researcher, and team player. I have a much clearer understanding of the writing process and what it takes to become published, and can’t wait to face these challenges as I continue my Undergraduate education. My post-undergraduate goals include getting my Master’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology, and working in a school setting with children requiring services. I hope to be able to have a bilingual focus because of this project, and be an advocate for multicultural students.

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