Topics: Communication, Nonverbal communication, Proxemics Pages: 34 (8028 words) Published: August 27, 2013

I certify my authority of the Study Project Report submitted entitled


In fulfilmentfulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Arts

Le Thi Huyen


I owe my deepest gratitude to my supervisor, M.A Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, without whose valuable comments and guidance, my thesis would not have been accomplished. My special thanks go to my colleagues from Haiphong Water Supply Company, those who helped me fill in my survey questionairequestionnaire and give me constructive suggestions in completing this thesis. And I am immensely grateful to my former teacher, Ms. Stacy Thompson, who is living and working in the United States. She has helped me conduct my survey in the United States. I owe my family great attitude for theirMy family: my parents, my brother, my sister-in-law and my boyfriend have been a constant source of love, support and encouragement. Finally, I should acknowledge my indebtedness to all my friends for their assistance during the process of preparing for this research. Le Thi Huyen


Even the best verbal communication skills are not enough to create and sustain successful relationships. Good relationships, both at home and at work, require the ability to communicate with emotional intelligence. Part of our culture involves an unspoken rule that people should ignore nonverbal elements– as if the injunction were, "hear what I say, and don't notice the way I say it." These elements are often ignored in school or overridden by parents, so the task of incorporating conscious sensitivity to nonverbal communications is made more difficult. Thus, this thesis is an attempt to provide a cross-cultural comparison of common conversational distances, their frequency used in American and Vietnamese cultures and factors affecting conversational distances. Special emphasis is given to :

- classification and usage of conversational distances as well as and their usage - factors affecting conversational distances.
The implications are suggested and recommendations provided for avoidance of culture shock and cross-cultural communication breakdown. For instance, American people tend to use close phase of intimate distance when showing intimate emotion with mothers more than Vietnamese. Besides, there is not much difference whether between brothers or sisters in keeping intimate distance when showing intimate emotion in American, whereas, Vietnamese people tend to keep closer distance with their sister than brother. It is also concluded that if two Americans of opposite sex informants are conversing, they find close phase easier, freer and more conventional , however, it is applied for every case that if the communicative partners are of the same sex then closer distance is more popular with Vietnamese informants.


Figure 1: Percentage of verbal and nonverbal communication in common use Diagram 1: Classification of nonverbal communication
Table 1: Further clarification of nonverbal communication
Table 2: Sub-distances of intimate distance and their communicators Table 3: Sub-distances of personal distance and their communicators Table 4: Sub-distances of social distance and their communicators Table 5: Sub-distances of public distance and their communicators Table 6: Interactions among messages, tones of voice and distances between faces Table 7: Figures on using conversational distances by informants with their mother Table 8: Figures on using conversational distances by informants with their father Table 9: Figures on using conversational distances by informants with their brother Table 10: Figures on using conversational distances by informants with their sister Table 11: Figures on using conversational distances by...

References: According to Ronald B. Alder & George Rodman (1998), “: Ccommunication refers to the process man being responding to the face-to-face symbolic behaviour of other persons”.
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