The Multiple Modes of Human Communication

Non-Fiction - Cultural
338 Pages
Reviewed on 01/31/2016
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    Book Review

Reviewed by JJ Phillips for Readers' Favorite

Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication by Ruth Finnegan is a non-fiction book about the way we communicate with one another. Human communication and interaction is a fascinating topic, and Finnegan covers it well. She suggests that communication is not limited to words or visual images. We can communicate more than just through mass media, social media, or other digital means. What if we could use our multi-sensory qualities of sounds, sight, and touch to create a connection with animals? What if we could communicate across the long and strange divides of space and time? Through many references to different historical time periods, cultural, and social settings, Finnegan asks the reader to think of communication in a different way. Picture the art of Shakespeare. Imagine further back to the Greeks and their teachings and traditions. Or the oral traditions in African countries. All of this is used to illuminate to the reader what communication really is, and how far we still have to go before we better understand it.

Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication is a very interesting and educational book that made me really think about the way I understood the art of communicating. Finnegan does a really nice job of including examples of different time periods, genres, and different parts of the world to relate to many people. She has a passion for this subject that comes out on the page and made me want to learn as much as I could about the subject as well. This is such an interesting topic that is very well written. It could change the way people think about communicating forever.

Romuald Dzemo

Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication by Ruth Finnegan is a pioneering work in the art of communication, a work that is filled with information that will surprise the majority of readers. In a masterful way, Finnegan explores the subtleties of language and communication, going beyond the traditional methods of communication to demonstrate that there are multiple layers of intelligence that allow both humans and animals to interconnect and communicate with each other. The work draws strength from seemingly long years of research into history, traditions, cultures, literature, and anthropology. Finnegan lifts the veil of mystery from the diverse universes and channels of communication that can be found beyond the use of words, sounds, and visual images, to reveal non-verbal and beyond-the-body modes of communication that are stunning.

Ruth Finnegan’s Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication is one of those rare books that will assist linguistic students and students of social anthropology as a splendid reference book, and it will most certainly help anyone to enhance their communication skills and to develop the acute sense of receiving non-verbal messages from anyone. Through dint of research, the author demonstrates that communication can become even easier if we hone the vast array of communication channels that are available to us. Finnegan has so skillfully established herself as an expert in the art of communication, offering readers a work that is as rich and educative as it is entertaining. Her expression is simple and she uses many examples to pass her message across. Beautiful written, laced with surprising facts, this book will help anyone who wants to deepen their communication skills and anyone who wants to easily reach out and connect with others. Finnegan seems to be set on restoring the lost art of communication and is not just a wonderful researcher; she has the gift of putting into words what can be very difficult to understand. This book will enrich the lives of many people.

Ryan Jordan

Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication by Ruth Finnegan is an excellent book about how communication works for humans, different ways it came about, and ways it can be improved or expanded upon in going forward. I have always been intrigued by concepts like this, and it was fascinating getting a sense of what happens when people communicate, things like Tactile Communication, the social norms that go into communication, and what is expected in a general interaction with another human being. We've been able to overcome so much as a species because of our ability to communicate effectively.

There are also discussions of slightly more controversial topics, like Telepathy, but it's incredibly refreshing to see fringe science compiled along with a textbook so that it doesn't feel as much like a textbook from the fifties that people are terrified to update. It's very easy to read and the author takes a personable approach to explanation that will make it possible for anyone to understand the topics being covered. I think everyone would find value here, whether studying for a class or just brushing up on an interesting topic that they would like to pursue further.

I have always been interested in things like this, so I especially enjoyed the sections about fiction and dreaming. There is so much that goes into communication, and I think this is an excellent primer for anyone who wants to understand more about how communication came about and what goes into it. Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication by Ruth Finnegan is a great introduction to the topic and highly recommended for anyone interested in learning more about how communication works.

Tracy A. Fischer

In a well researched, interesting and highly educational work by author Ruth Finnegan, Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication is a book that any reader who is interested in the way people interact with each other should absolutely read. Author Ruth Finnegan explores more than communication by speech in this great work; she delves into communication types such as visual images, mass media and digital communication. Non verbal communication, western and non-western styles, and even animal communication are checked out. Readers will find great value and insight into how we express emotions, thoughts, feelings and the way others perceive how we are putting those communications out into the world.

I so, so enjoyed Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication. Author Ruth Finnegan is an absolute treasure in this area of research, and her work is both fascinating and thought provoking. Readers will be educated and entertained while reading this book, and will find themselves marking up the pages, sure that they will find much to come back and refer to later. I highly recommend Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication to any reader looking for a book that will help them to better understand the way we as humans interact with each other. I look forward to reading much more from the highly talented author Ruth Finnegan in the very near future, and hope she is hard at work on another one of her fantastic works already!

K.C. Finn

Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication is a work of non-fiction in the language, anthropology, and cultural studies subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience. Penned by author Ruth Finnegan, the work provides a fascinating exploration of the diverse modes of human communication. Finnegan challenges the traditional cognitive and word-centric models of communication, emphasizing that human communication extends far beyond mere words. Drawing from linguistic and sensory anthropology, material culture, non-verbal communication, and even research on animal communication, Finnegan offers a comprehensive view of the various forms of communication, including touch, olfaction, audition, and vision. The book also takes readers on a journey through time and across cultures, revealing the incredible array of sounds, sights, gestures, and other sensory experiences that humans and animals use to connect with each other.

Author Ruth Finnegan has crafted a work that is a truly eye-opening experience for both those new to the world of critical thinking and those who have worked in communication-based education before. It challenges conventional wisdom and offers fresh perspectives on the evolution of human communication whilst drawing on a wide variety of great research, searching for a holistic view that takes a lot more into account than the simplistic, outdated models of our past. Finnegan's extensive research and interdisciplinary approach are evident in every part of this logically-ordered exploration, making this a valuable resource for scholars and students in linguistics, anthropology, and cultural studies. As both a teacher and a writer, I found it rewarding, useful, and deeply affirming to read as a great indication of where the future of this discipline is headed. Overall, Communicating is a thought-provoking and insightful read that will undoubtedly spark lively debate and reflection on the essence of human communication and the dawn of human history, and I’d recommend it to curious minds everywhere.

Amy Raines

In Communicating: The Multiple Modes Of Human Communication, author Ruth Finnegan discusses how communication between humans and other animals is much more than simple vocalizations shared by each species. Verbal and visual cues, such as writing and talking, are the easiest to comprehend. However, body language, broken down by individual senses, patterns, gestures, and stances, is also a form of communication. Smell is somewhat more complicated to understand, while touch and the way it is perceived can communicate any number of thoughts, messages, and emotions, even for those who are not blind or visually impaired. Is human communication putting us above the rest of the animal kingdom? How do technology and adaptability affect the way humans interact and communicate?

Communicating is the product of many years of in-depth study of how humans and animals express themselves. I enjoyed learning about how each of the senses works when interacting with others and understanding how there is a broad scope of communication that is much more than simple conversation. I loved the detailed information in this book. It gave me a lot to think about as I discovered concepts in communication that I had never considered before. I recommend Communicating to anyone who is interested in learning more about humans as a species as well as how we are similar and different from other animal groups. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope to read more work like this from Ruth Finnegan. Controversial or not, this book opens the reader’s eyes to scientific ideas that are interesting and enlightening.

Doreen Chombu

Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication by Ruth Finnegan is an anthropological study of the various modes of human interactions. The book covers many topics associated with human and animal communication. The author explains the various sources, modalities, and artifacts of communication. The book dives into the sensory study of sight, taste, touch, smell, and hearing and the seemingly impossible modes of communication like telepathy, dreams, shared consciousness, the afterlife, and many more. The author explains the evolution of writing and speech and how communication is a major component of our existence. Technological advancements have been made possible with communication, and we can expect more developments when we open more channels of connecting, sending, and receiving information.

Communicating is such a basic aspect of our lives that we do not even realize we are doing it. How we position our bodies, the pictures we see, and the noises we hear are all just a portion of the communication we are involved in daily. For centuries, we have been sending and receiving messages and giving feedback, which has played a large part in our evolution. Ruth Finnegan does an outstanding job of explaining why we must communicate as a species. The author uses tables and pictures to present her data. The book is easy to read because it does not have complicated terms. It has a smooth flow, and each chapter builds on the next. The information is detailed and well-written, which showcases the author's passion for the topic and well-done research. I loved reading this book and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about communicating and why it is important for mankind.

Luwi Nyakansaila

Communicating is a complex subject that transcends space and time. It goes beyond written text, spoken words, and the transfer of messages from a sender to a receiver. In her groundbreaking book Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication, Ruth Finnegan discusses the various resources, processes, and artifacts humans use to communicate. She gives an in-depth study on how we use the five senses and the extra-sensory like the paranormal, dreams, intuition, and telepathy to interact with the world around us. The book contains accounts throughout history and from the author's personal experiences. Communicating is a multifaceted topic that needs to be studied and appreciated. Therefore, get a copy of this book to have a thorough understanding of what it means to communicate.

Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication has a lot of detailed information on a seemingly uncomplicated topic. The more I read, the more I was fascinated. For many years, I have thought of communication as a straight line between a sender and receiver, but after reading this book, I realize there is more to it. The emotions, status, modes, interconnections, meaning, and purpose are just a few things to consider when communicating. This book is well-researched and can be read for academic or personal purposes. Ruth Finnegan has organized her work well and given many relatable examples that readers will resonate with. I loved this book because it was enlightening and memorable. The author’s breakdown and comparisons of how animals and humans have evolved in the way they communicate are mind-blowing and make me wonder if we are capable of more ways of connecting. The book is a must-read for anyone who loves eye-opening, informative books.

Jaqueline Neves

Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication by Ruth Finnegan is a captivating exploration of communication that challenges traditional perspectives. Finnegan argues against the prevalent word-centered models, asserting that human communication extends beyond words to touch, olfaction, audition, and vision. Drawing on her expertise in linguistic and sensory anthropology, as well as classical studies, Finnegan provides a compelling account enriched with examples from around the world, spanning both historical and contemporary contexts. The book unveils a fascinating array of sensory experiences used by humans and animals to connect across space and time, ultimately questioning established narratives about the evolution of language and human history.

Ruth Finnegan's writing is accessible, skillfully navigating the intricate terrain of complex ideas with a rare combination of clarity and engaging prose. The narrative unfolds seamlessly, weaving research from various disciplines into a cohesive and compelling exploration. The pace of the book is not only dynamic but also artfully measured, ensuring a sustained interest for readers through a profound examination of extra-sensory modes of communication and a daring reassessment of human history. In this intellectually charged work, Finnegan's incisive questions and thought-provoking conclusions drive the narrative, creating an atmosphere that is both stimulating and intellectually invigorating. Finnegan skillfully navigates the intricate nuances of communication, history, and the essence of being human, creating a profound and enlightening exploration that will resonate not only with scholars but also with curious minds interested in language, communication, anthropology, and cultural studies. I've always found joy in reading non-fiction books that explore topics like communication and psychology with a new and refreshing outlook, and this book truly lived up to that expectation.