Gestures and Non-Verbal Rituals and Their Meaning in Contemporary Polish Politics

Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Polonica 48 (2):113-128 (2018)
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Abstract

In this article, we analysed non-verbal behaviours and rituals of the representatives of Law and Justice, the party currently ruling in Poland. Having analysed video material, we noticed three main tendencies in non-verbal rituals of public speeches on the Polish political scene. Firstly, public speeches by the Law and Justice politicians are characterised by a poor variety of gestures, which are mostly limited to adaptive behaviours, aiming at increasing the comfort of the speaker rather than enriching their verbal message. Secondly, we noticed that most of the so-called obscene emblems, that is gestures expressing contempt, disregard and lack of respect, are used in places where that should not be the case, that is in Parliament and political contexts, which leads us to the conclusion that the ruling party has given up the rules of political correctness. Thirdly, we noticed patent violations of practices and rituals that are rooted in culture as well as the mixing of the sacred and the profane.

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