A Cross-cultural Study of Serbian and English Native Speakers’ Non-verbal Actions and Identity During a Videoconferencing Task in New Zealand
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This thesis examines the non-verbal actions and the production of identity of Serbian and English native speakers during a videoconferencing task in New Zealand. This cross-cultural study examines the modes of facial expression, posture, and hand/arm movements to show how these are telling of the identity of the Serbian and English native speakers. Although gesture and language have received significant attention in research, very few studies have addressed the cross-cultural non-verbal actions and no study has compared Serbian native speakers with New Zealand English speakers. This thesis aims to address this gap. Data for the study was collected and analysed using the theoretical and methodological framework of multimodal (inter) action analysis. Three case studies were analysed showing in case one, a Serbian native speaking dyad; in case two, a Serbian and English mixed native speaking dyad; and finally, in case three, a New Zealand English native speaking dyad. Higher-level action segments of 40 seconds were selected for analysis for each dyad as well as several relevant inserts from the participant interviews which occurred after the tasks were completed. The study concludes by confirming the researcher’s hypothesis that Serbian native speakers are more expressive non-verbally than English native speakers. Further, the thesis shows how we can tell of a person’s identity by examining their non-verbal actions.