High and Low Context Culture

“Suggest some of the peculiar cautiousnesss that an person from a high context civilization should bear in head when covering with person from a low context civilization. Do the same for a low to high context civilization situation.”

Culture is a shared, learned, symbolic system of values, beliefs and attitudes that forms and influences perceptual experience and behavior — an abstract “mental blueprint” or “mental code.” Culture is the human made portion in the human environment and is everything that people have think and do as members of a society. It is defined as ‘inherited moral wont ‘ , dwelling thoughts and values ( Ghauri & A ; Cateora, 2005 ) .

Many organisations want a strong corporate civilization, but do n’t cognize why or do n’t hold any cogent evidence that a strong civilization has any quantifiable impact on their overall mission, vision values or aims. Sandy Gluck adult male, writer of who ‘s in the Driver ‘s Seat: Using spirit to take successfully ( 2007 ) puts it more merely: “its how thing are done around here” . Cultures differ on the importance and the topographic point of words in communicating. In some civilizations words are cardinal and the chief agencies of communicating. This is low context communicating. In other civilizations things, apart from words, are really of import in communicating. Implied significances originating from the physical scene, relational cues, or shared apprehensions form an of import portion of communicating. This is high context communicating.

The construct of high context civilization and low context civilization was proposed by Edward T. Hall and they are a manner of understanding different types of cultural orientation. All of us prosecute in both high-context and low-context communicating. There are times we “say what we mean, and intend what we say, ” go forthing small to be “read in” to the expressed message. This is low-context communicating. At other times, we may deduce, connote, insinuate, or present with gestural cues messages that we want to hold conveyed but do non talk. This is high-context communicating. Individualistic oriented civilizations tend to prefer low context communicating and communal orientated civilizations tend to prefer high context communicating. Low context civilization includes states like United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland etc where every bit high context civilizations are that of China, Japan, France, and India etc. It is of import to recognize that people from different civilization are different in assortment of ways including different manner of looking at things, dressing and showing personality/goodness.

Variation in Cultures: –

There are fluctuations among the regulation based civilizations like those of England, North America and Germany. Business communications differ between America and Germany and their manner of presentation can besides change. The American ‘s slides can be flashy with all catchy phrases which the Germans find infantile and they would prefer graphs and chart to reassure them that proper market research has been done. There are several differences in European civilizations they can be ruled as logic based civilization. Most Gallic and Italian concern meetings are much more emotional and animated than the British ( Hooper, 2008 ) .

Cultures tend to divide an person or a group from one another and it is a beginning of history that each one is proud to transport on to the future coevalss. Intercultural communicating is of import for concern, networking and friendly relationship so when we experience a cultural daze ( something different from our experience ) we must understand that “what they are making makes sense to them” and we have to esteem that.

Low context communicating

Low context refers to societies where people tend to hold many connexions but of shorter continuance or for some specific ground. In these societies, cultural behavior and beliefs may necessitate to be spelled out explicitly so that those coming into the cultural environment cognize how to act. E.g. Low context civilizations include Anglos, Germanics and Scandinavians. In alleged “low-context” communicating systems, people translate a big portion of the significance into expressed codification ( Hall 1979, p. 91 ) . As a consequence, “the spoken word carries most of the meaning” ( Storti 1999, p. 92 ) . Peoples explicitly say what they want to convey without crushing around the shrub. Their end is to acquire and give information when communication with other people. But, with less consideration to context, low-context systems are inclined to be more complex as the spoken word has to do up for what is losing in the context. As a consequence, low context communicating styles show less intuitive apprehension, which makes them decelerate and less efficient ( Hall 1979, p. 101 ) . Cultures like the United States and Germany are considered low-context civilizations, for case. However, these are merely inclinations. No civilization uses low-context communicating manners entirely. There are certain belongingss to low context civilization communicating which are quiet curious about them. Using pure information transferring, merely stating what they truly intend, no dual significance is some illustrations. It is believed utilizing low context communicating manners are really clear means no misinterpretation, they merely use linguistic communication as a communicating tool and they avoid slangs & A ; idioms.

High context communicating: –

High context refers to societies or groups where people have close connexions over a long period of clip. Deutsch, M and Coleman, P ( 2000 ) explained that high-context civilizations rely on the context to convey most of the information, with comparatively small information conveyed by the existent message. Low-context civilizations convey most of the information within the message, with really small significance given to the context. Low-context hearers frequently miss the full content of high-context communicating, while high-context hearers may read in more content than a low-context talker intended. Generally in high context cultures the concern traffics are carried out with less paper work than that of low context civilizations. In this civilization concern loans are most likely to be based on who you are than being recognised with the fiscal paperss. Many facets of cultural behaviors are non made explicit because most members know what to make and what to believe from old ages of interaction with each other. Your household is likely an illustration of a high context environment. E.g. High context civilizations include Nipponese, Arabs and French. Same as low context communicating high context do hold its ain distinctive features like they talk in concealed significances and frequently dual significances or coded information. They tend to utilize more slangs, parlances and are by and large high gait talkers. Their manner of showing the information is by and large different and is largely “Pun Intended” .

Communication dislocations can easy happen when people from low and high context communicating manners interact. Low context talkers may neglect to detect the subtle and indirect messages which high context talkers send to them nonverbally or misinterpret their silences or equivocal address. International Business Communication ( 1992 ) quotes DeMente ( 1988 ) about Korean concern attitudes: “In Korea, as in many other Asiatic states, concern is a personal matter. The merchandise, the net income, and everything else take a backseat to personal relations” ( Jane, 1998 ) . In Japan and Saudi Arabia a great trade of importance is given on a individual ‘s worth or values and place or topographic point in a society. Nipponese concern universe is extremely organized and involves human resource involved and there is common dependance between employers and employees compared to America where it is dependent on machinery for most of the work and non much mutualness between the people ( Shimizu, 1995 ) . In high context civilization more information is conveyed by organic structure linguistic communication and people are expected to understand without much account. In some civilizations, looking people in the oculus is assumed to bespeak honestness and consecutive bumptiousness ; in others it is seen as ambitious and ill-mannered. In USA, the cheapest most effectual manner to link with people is to look them into the oculus. Most people in Arab civilization portion a great trade of oculus contact and may see excessively small as disrespectful. In English civilization, a certain sum of oculus contact is required, but excessively much makes many people uncomfortable. In South Asian and many other civilizations direct oculus contact is by and large regarded as aggressive and rude.

For illustration: –

Gallic can experience that Germans insult their intelligence by explicating the obvious, while Germans can experience that Gallic directors provide no way.

Nipponese can happen Westerners to be offensively blunt. Westerners can happen Nipponese to be close, oblique and bafflingly unforthcoming with information.

When people who prefer low context communicating interact with people who prefer high-context communicating, it may be helpful to retrieve that:

  1. Non-verbal gestures, societal scenes, Numberss of people present, dress codifications, clip maintaining, silences and nutrient may all be portion of a verbal message or be taken into history when construing the verbal message. The “messages” sent this manner may be every bit of import as the verbal message.
  2. Status and individuality may be communicated indirectly in a non-verbal mode and it must be acknowledged and respected for good communicating.
  3. Face-saving and tact are of import facets of communicating and should in most instances non be considered as deliberate efforts to avoid issues or to talk the truth. Frank and unfastened treatments should ever take topographic point in a context where people feel save and experience regard.
  4. Constructing good dealingss with communicating spouses and of import people to them will heighten the ability to construe the verbal and non-verbal messages of the high context communicating spouses.

When people who prefer high context communicating interact with people who prefer low-context communications, they should retrieve that:

  1. They must concentrate upon what is really said and non look for hidden messages behind the words or in non-verbal ways. Non-verbal messages may be unwilled and must be interpreted with cautiousness.
  2. The talkers will concentrate on the affair under treatment and that the position and individuality of the people involved are of lesser importance. There is no purpose to disregard people or be ill-mannered.
  3. Direct inquiries, observations or proposals are non needfully intend to intimidate or to pique, but to clear up and advance the undertaking or common ends.

Indirect or non-verbal messages may non be detected or wrongly interpreted by the communicating spouses. More direct messages are needed to maintain the communicating procedure traveling.


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