The Body Language of Adults Who Are Blind1

Anna-Karin Magnusson, Gunnar Karlsson
2008 Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research  
The body expressions of adults who are blind have been relatively unexplored. The aim of this study was therefore to deepen the understanding of different forms of body expression, or "body language", in adults who are blind. More specifically the study aimed at answering the following questions: What forms of body expression do adults who are blind display? What can the conditions for some different forms of body expression be? What importance can individual, social and cultural factors have
more » ... ural factors have for different forms of body expression? Data consisted of videotaped interviews with five congenitally blind, two adventitiously blind and two sighted individuals. The data were analysed in a hermeneutical and phenomenological sense. The results consisted of a typology of 19 different forms of body expression. All in all, we found that the congenitally blind participants expressed themselves mainly in a functional and concrete manner. They also seemed to have limited experiences with abstract, symbolic body expressions. The conditions and the importance of different factors for different body expressions are discussed. Body language 2 is one of several ways in which a person expresses and communicates thoughts, attitudes, intentions, and emotions. Body language also complements verbal language and makes communication between people clearer and easier. Therefore, there is no doubt that body
doi:10.1080/15017410701685927 fatcat:pgr4n6ptirglpl452s6hw23hza