Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

Living Edition
| Editors: Jay Lebow, Anthony Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Birdwhistell, Raymond

  • Armine Gevorkyan
  • Ester Yesayan
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-15877-8_772-1


Raymond “Ray” L. Birdwhistell, Ph.D. (1918–1994)


Raymond “Ray” L. Birdwhistell was an American Anthropologist who was well known internationally for his significant contributions to the field of nonverbal communication or body language. He coined the term kinesics, the part of nonverbal communication that deals with postures of the body and movements of various parts of the body that play a role in communicating. He contributed many writings to the field of nonverbal communication including, 2 books and about 15 papers published in prestigious professional journals such as, Schizophrenia; Group Processes: Transactions of the second conference; and Lectures on Experimental Psychiatry. He was also involved in the making of numerous films, such as Microcultural Incidents in Ten Zoos; TDR-009; and the Lecture on Kinesics by Ray L. Birdwhistell at the Second Linguistic-Kinesic Conference Nov. 4–7, 1964.


Raymond “Ray” Birdwhistell received a bachelor’s degree in 1940...

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Key Citations

  1. Birdwhistell, R. L. (1952). Introduction to kinesics: An annotation system for analysis of body motion and gesture. Washington, DC: Department of State, Foreign Service Institute.Google Scholar
  2. Birdwhistell, R. L. (1955). Background to kinesics. ETC: A Review of General Semantics, 13(1), 10–18.Google Scholar
  3. Birdwhistell, R. L. (1959). Contribution of linguistic–kinesic studies to the understanding of schizophrenia. In A. Auerback (Ed.), Schizophrenia: An integrated approach (pp. 99–123). New York: Ronald Press.Google Scholar
  4. Birdwhistell, R. L. (1963). The kinesic level in the investigation of the emotions. In P. H. Knapp (Ed.), Expression of the emotions in man (pp. 123–139). New York: International University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Birdwhistell, R. L. (1970). In E. Goffman, D. Hymes, G. Samkoff, & H. Glassie (Eds.), Kinesics and context: Essays on body motion communication. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Armine Gevorkyan
    • 1
  • Ester Yesayan
    • 2
  1. 1.California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)Los AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Independent practice/private practiceLos AngelesUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Heather Pederson
    • 1
  • Diana Semmelhack
    • 2
  1. 1.Council for RelationshipsPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Midwestern UniversityDowners GroveUSA