Nonverbal communication plays a crucial role in interpersonal communication. This is even more visible when individuals do not share a common language. Outsourced (2006), explores the journey of an American manager named Todd Anderson. His company, Seattle-based Company Western Novelty, outsources its call center to Gharapuri, India and Todd must travel to India in order to train the new staff and manager. Nonverbal communication is present throughout the movie as Todd, works through the language barrier and is introduced to a new culture, values and rituals. In this paper, nonverbal communication demonstrated in the movie is analyzed and discussed as it relates the research of Argyle (1988), Archer (1997), et al. Adler (2011) defines nonverbal communication as messages expressed through non-linguistic means. Research has shown that in communication, the verbal content only is only responsible for 7% of the message, while vocal cues such as pitch and intonation account for 38%, and facial expression an overwhelming 55% (Mehrabian, 1968). Nonverbal communication can be performed through facial expressions, proximity, and body movements. Argyle (1988) describes the five primary functions of Nonverbal Behavior – 1) Expression of Emotion, 2) Communication of Interpersonal Attitudes, 3) Accompany and Support Speech, 4) Self-Presentation, 5) Rituals. In the movie Outsourced (2006), examples of each of these functions of nonverbal behavior are observed. The face plays a particularly important role in showing emotion. Ekman (1982) classified facial expressions of emotion into six categories: happiness, surprise, fear, sadness, anger, and disgust/contempt. Throughout the movie Outsourced (2006) emotions were expressed by the characters through their facial expressions, body movements, and voice. Early in the movie, Todd visits the Indian call center for the first time. As he walks around the office Todd stops in his tracks with a surprised look on his face as he sees a cow standing right next to the call center’s clock. A few days later in a team meeting, emotions are expressed through nonverbal behavior by the call center staff as Todd answers questions about the product catalog from his team. An employee asks about the purpose of a product. Todd replies that the product is used to brand cows. The employees are outraged, and display facial expressions of disgust/contempt as they learn that cows, sacred animals in their culture, are having logos burned into their flesh in the United States. In another scene, Todd experiences a terrible stomach ache from Indian food. He rushes home with a worried look on his face as he fears he will not make it home in time. His facial expression of fear amplifies as he arrives home only to find that his toilet is being replaced. The repair men point him in the direction of downstairs bathroom where he discovers there is neither a toilet nor toilet paper and he must relieve himself in a hole in the ground and use his left hand for cleaning. Later in the movie, Todd’s boss from Seattle unexpectedly shows up in India and announces that the call center will be relocated to China where the cost of operation is even cheaper. Todd’s facial expressions body movements and the tone of his voice show the anger he feels toward his boss for moving the call center and sadness when he must tell the staff that they will be losing their jobs. Throughout the movie, Todd and Asha show nonverbal indications happiness, smiling and laughing together as they become romantically involved and enjoy each other’s company at work and outside of the office. Nonverbal signals such as tone of voice, gaze, and touch play an important part in establishing and maintaining relationships (Argyle, 1988). Argyle (1988) writes that “the most basic meaning of touch is that an interpersonal bond is being offered or established” (p. 226). Furthermore, eye contact can give important cues...
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