Asia, Africa, Latin America, and central Europe are predominantly countries with a high context culture. - Dosage & Side Effects, Anxiolytic: Definition, Medications & Dependence, What is Citalopram? [1] In low context, communication members' communication must be more explicit, direct, and elaborate because individuals are not expected to have knowledge of each other's histories or background, and communication is not necessarily shaped by long-standing relationships between speakers. High Context vs. Low Context. References Gudykunst, W. B., & Ting-Toomey, S. (1988). A low-context (LC) communication is just the opposite; i.e., the mass of the information is vested in the explicit code.". [38] By contrast, low-context cultures tend to change more rapidly and drastically, allowing extension[definition needed] to happen at faster rates. A 2005 study by Elizabeth Wurtz demonstrates how cultural differences shape marketing and advertising. In a 2008 meta-analysis of 224 articles published between 1990 and 2006, Peter W. Cardon wrote: [T]he theory was never described by Hall with any empirical rigor, and no known research involving any instrument or measure of contexting validates it. Examples of high-context cultures include China, India, and many non-Western societies. Cultural differences in advertising and marketing may also be explained through high- and low-context cultures. This study is a result of a cross-cultural examination between students from the United States, a low-context culture, and Mexico, a high-context culture, to study the reasons people communicate in each culture. Cultures Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values. We have close, personal relationships with our relatives. However, the concept may also apply to corporations, professions and other cultural groups, as well as to settings such as online and offline communication. Beyond Culture. [25] Pleasure, affection and inclusion were the highest motives for communication in both cultures, and control was the lowest for both cultures. This makes high-context cultures difficult to navigate for those who do not understand the culture's unwritten rules. Members of high-context cultures usually have close relationships that last for an extended period of time. An error occurred trying to load this video. Their communication is often indirect and requires a nuanced understanding, so outsiders might find it more difficult to enter their culture. Because a low-context setting cannot rely on shared understanding of potentially ambiguous messages, low-context cultures tend to give more information, or to be precise in their language. High-context communication tends to be more indirect and more formal. In high-context cultures, communication cues are transmitted by posture, voice inflection, gestures, and facial expression. The Self in a Social Context: Help and Review, Figure-Ground Perception: Definition & Examples, Psychological Research & Experimental Design, All Teacher Certification Test Prep Courses, High Context vs. Low Context Characteristics, Introduction to Social Psychology: Help and Review, Research Methods and Ethics: Help and Review, Social Cognition & Perception: Help and Review, The Self: Executive and Organizational Functions & Gender and Cultural Differences, Introspection and Self-Awareness Theory in Psychology: Definition & Examples, Self-Perception Theory: Definition and Examples, Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation in Education: Definition & Examples, Two-Factor Theory of Emotions: Definition and Relation to the Misattribution of Arousal, Social-Comparison Theory: Upward vs. They have a Bachelor's in Air Traffic Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and minored in Aviation Safety and Homeland Security. Cultures and communication in which the context of the message is of great importance to structuring actions are referred to as high context. Low-context countries, on the other hand, relied more on linear processes and verbal communication. Most of the contexting categories simply have not been researched enough to make firm conclusions. Having a firm grasp on what constitutes high- and low-context, particularly in a communication setting, will truly help you better understand each . People within high-context cultures tend to be more aware and observant of facial expressions, body language, changes in tone, and other aspects of communication that are not directly spoken. High vs. Low Power Distance Cultural Communications | What are High and Low Power Distance Cultural Communications? In comparison, the United States is perhaps the best example of a diverse and low-context culture. Guffey, M. E., Lowey, D., Rhodes, K., & Rogin, P. (2013). 2. This is in direct contrast to low-context cultures, in which information is communicated primarily through language and rules are explicitly spelled out. The ways by which humans communicate are based heavily on the context of what is being spoken, the individuals involved, and the setting in which the communication takes place. Meaning is determined not by what is said but by how it is said and by how social implications such as the communicators status and position come into play. Dr. Drew has published over 20 academic articles in scholarly journals. They often use written contracts and agreements to clarify expectations (Gudykunst & Ting-Toomey, 1988). Examples of a low context communication cultures include The United States, the UK, Switzerland, Canada and Germany. Kim Dunghoon conducted a study to test the major aspects of high-context versus low-context culture concepts. Some recognized examples include: Higher-context culture: China, India, Korea, Japan, other Asian countries, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Mauritania, Oman, and Yemen, African countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Nigeria, Latin America, the Pacific islands, France, Greece, Finland, Ireland, Italy, and Russia. For example, it could be argued that the Canadian French language is higher context than Canadian English, but lower context than Spanish or French French. [39][40] In high-context cultures, facial expressions and gestures take on greater importance in conveying and understanding a message, and the receiver may require more cultural context to understand "basic" displays of emotions. Examples of high-context cultures include Asian, African, Latin American, and some European countries. Characteristics of Low Context People behave according to rules Preference is given to knowledge sharing and transfer Relationships do not last longer On purpose relationships Sage Publications. [34], Restricted codes are commonly used in high-context culture groups, where group members share the same cultural background and can easily understand the implicit meanings "between the lines" without further elaboration. Contents show Low Context Culture Definition Edward T. Hall describes low-context culture as one in which: Give some examples of cultural differences in the interpretation of body language. [14] However, understanding the broad tendencies of predominant cultures can help inform and educate individuals on how to better facilitate communication between individuals of differing cultural backgrounds. However, no country is low-context or high-context in absolute terms; instead, there is a mix of explicit & implicit communication everywhere. High context communication cultures . The designation "high and low context culture" broadly refers to the way people communicate in cultures. A high-context culture is a culture or society that communicates dominantly through the use of contextual elements, such as specific forms of body language, the status of an individual, and the tone of voice employed during speech. In low-context countries, things need to be spelled out a bit more. Members of ingroups usually share many characteristics and experiences. These countries are quite explicit and elaborate without having prior knowledge to each member's history or background. Unlike low-context cultures, high-context cultures prioritize the group over the individual (Hofstede, 1984). Neuliup, J. W. (2011). The low-context websites had multiple images of individuals, while the high-context websites contained images and animations of groups and communities.[42]. In contrast, take a look at the ads on the front page of Weibo, which is considered China's version of Facebook. While some cultures are low or high . High-context cultures are built on a sense of shared experiences and history. Words: 825. According to Hall's theory, the Chinese and Korean samples represented higher-context cultures while the American sample represents a lower context culture. Primarily use non-verbal methods to relay meaningful information in conversations, such as facial expressions, eye movement, and tone of voice. In the 1970's, anthropologist Edward T. Hall coined the phrases "high-context culture" and "low- context culture.". (2012). [36], Individualistic cultures promote the development of individual values and independent social groups. They rely less on the shared values/assumptions of the group and the context of the situation. By contrast, a low-context culture enjoys communications that take place most often through written or spoken (verbal) speech and rules are directly and explicitly stated. Low-context communicators dont need to be provided with much background information, but they do expect messages to be professional, efficient, and linear in their logic. (2013)[2]explain the concept of cultural context: Cultural context is a concept developed by cultural anthropologist Edward T. Hall. It is important to note that while a nation or society may be widely considered a high-context or low-context culture, certain events occur in the opposite context regularly (such as family gatherings in the United States). Negotiators basically say what they mean. Low-context cultures can seem slightly more formal due to the explicit & precise nature of their messages. [18], Therefore, higher-context cultures tend to correlate with cultures that also have a strong sense of tradition and history, and change little over time. Unlike the linear communication style preferred in low-context cultures, high-context communicators may use spiral logic, circling around a topic indirectly and looking at it from many tangential or divergent viewpoints. In a high-context culture, emphasis is placed on interpersonal relationships rather than personal achievement. Contexts in source publication. Although the concept of high- and low-context cultures is usually applied in the field of analyzing national cultures, it can also be used to describe scientific or corporate cultures, or specific settings such as airports or law courts. Disagreement is depersonalized. This concept was introduced by Edward T. Hall, an anthropologist back in 1976. High Context vs. Low Context High-context is that "most of the information is either in the physical context or initialized in the person, while very little is in the coded, explicit, transmitted part of the message." (Hall). For example, if you have ever been to a family gathering, then you have experience with a high-context culture. Order now. [20][21], Cultural context can also shift and evolve. Remember that culture is dynamic, and that every individual within a culture is unique and may not conform exactly to the general characteristics of that culture. This also means that low-context communication may fail due to the overload of information, which makes culture lose its screening[definition needed] function. The continuum pictures how people communicate with others through their range of communication abilities: utilizing gestures, relations, body language . Wurtz found something similar while analyzing website design. As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 88,000 Researchers today are using it greatly to study different cultures all over the world. Intercultural Communication in the Workplace, 18. In anthropology, high-context culture and low-context culture are ends of a continuum of how explicit the messages exchanged in a culture are and how important the context is in communication. A few predominantly high-context cultures include Japan, China, Brazil, Argentina, and South Africa. The study collected three samples from different cultures - the US, China, and Korea - with 96 business managers surveyed in the American and Chinese sample and 50 managers in the Korean sample. This can be quite confusing to an outsider, especially someone from a low-context culture who is used to communicating via explicit messages. Low-context communication is often seen in Western, more individualistic cultures (i.e., U.S., Australia, some European countries) where communication is direct, to the point, and one doesn't have to guess the meaning or intention behind what is being said. Examples of low-context cultures include Germany, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Canada, and the United States. While in high context cultures, communication is done primarily through nonverbal mediums and gestures, in low context cultures, information is vested explicitly so that there is no risk of confusion. The situation, people, and non-verbal elements are more important than the actual words that are communicated. [30], Hall links language to culture through the work of Sapir-Whorf on linguistic relativity. Low-context cultures are less stable than high-context cultures as they are not founded upon any shared background. Most notably, members of either culture must recognize and make an effort to understand the values and characteristics of other cultures so that miscommunications may be avoided. [37] Because individualistic cultures may value cultural diversity, a more explicit way of communicating is often required to avoid misunderstanding. Both the speaker and listener act under the assumption that all relevant information has been explicitly stated. The differences between high-context and low-context cultures is one of the most challenging things to navigate and one of the most important and distinct differences that exists across cultures. Japan is generally considered a high-context culture, meaning people communicate based on inherent understanding. Meanwhile, in a high-context culture, nonverbal cues and unspoken background . In high-context cultures (such as those in Japan, China, and Arab countries), the listener is already contexted and does not need to be given much background information[3]. Create your account, 10 chapters | What is culture? succeed. Gudykunst, W. B., & Ting-Toomey, S. (1988). Most of the cultural behavior aspects are not open for the reason that many of the members are aware of what to do and what thoughts to engage in. A person's identity in a high context society tends to be based on one's roles and experiences within the group. Intercultural Business Communication by Confederation College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted. However, no country is low-context or high-context in absolute terms; instead, there is a mix of explicit & implicit communication everywhere. High-context cultures are collectivist, value interpersonal relationships, and have members that form stable, close relationships. The high and low context cultures in this concept refers to how important contextual cues are in interpreting a message. [1] "High-" and "low-" context cultures typically refer to language groups, nationalities, or regional communities. Intercultural communication. 18 Examples of Low Culture. [41] One study on McDonald's online advertising compared Japan, China, Korea, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and the United States, and found that in high-context countries, the advertising used more colors, movements, and sounds to give context, while in low-context cultures the advertising focused more on verbal information and linear processes. Monochronic vs. Polychronic Communication Styles | What Are Chronemics? Establishing relationships is an important part of communicating and interacting. Initially, high culture rejects these outsiders but eventually embraces them or appropriates . When a part of these groups, a low-context individual may be more drawn to interpersonal relationships with others than focusing on their own accomplishments and do not require information to be elaborated because they maintain an understanding of group behaviors. Amount of Detail Expected - High-context cultures such as Japan, China, and France provide little details in their writing. "[17] On the other hand, he identified countries such as Germany, the United States and Scandinavia as low-context cultures. This allows individuals of different generations to communicate through a shared set of values, which, in turn, provides stability to the culture. We also make strong distinctions between those who are a part of our family and those who are not. Class, Codes and Control. Conclusions are explicitly stated. What is a high-context culture and how does this communication culture differ from a low-context culture? High Context vs. Low Context (Internet) Example of McDonalds Internet site: High: Families shown, lots of people on the website ads Low: You, your choices, easy to navigate High Context vs. Low Context (Law) High: Traditions are the laws Low: Rules and order are spelled out. By contrast, a low-context culture is characterized by information being communicated primarily through spoken language, as well as rules being explicitly and directly stated. France is a high-context culture. Mostly, western cultures are low context cultures like the UK, Australia, and the United States. Low-context cultures (such as those in North America and Western Europe) depend less on the environment of a situation to convey meaning than do high-context cultures (such as those in Japan, China, and Arab countries). For example, the Native Americans in the United States rely heavily on their tradition. Guffey et al. In high-context cultures, people are said to prefer symbolic, artful language that is implicit. In contrast, low-context cultures rely on explicit verbal communication. High-context cultures are collectivist cultures. Examples of high context cultures include many Asian, African, and Latin American countries, as well as some European cultures such as Spain and Italy. In other words, high-context communicators attach great importance to everything that surrounds the explicit message, including interpersonal relationships, non-verbal cues, and physical and social settings. Getting the message across. For example, the body language and methods of communication experienced by a group of close friends in a casual setting differs greatly from a group of peers presenting at a professional business meeting. Emphasis on verbal vs. non-verbal communications, the existence of close personal space, emphasis on collectivism and ingroup learning and achievements, and the importance of interpersonal relationships are but a few of the most significant distinguishing factors. How Do I Format and Cite Long Direct Quotes? [18] A trade language will typically need to explicitly explain more of the context than a dialect which can assume a high level of shared context. A conclusion may be implied but not argued directly. Cultures where the group is valued over the individual promote. High-context cultures include close-knit groups of people, while low-context cultures are generally more diverse. To unlock this lesson you must be a Member. The results show significant differences between the American, Chinese, and Korean samples on 15 out of 16 items, with 11 items significant at the .01 level, one at the .05 level, and three at the .10 level. High-context cultures: Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, China, India, and Saudi Arabia are some of the highest-context cultures in the world. According to Hall, the high-context culture definition relates to a culture by which the rules of communication are primarily and dominantly transmitted through the use of contextual elements. Guffey, M.E., Lowey, D., Rhodes, K., & Rogin, P. (2013). Learn more about how Pressbooks supports open publishing practices. Communication is seen as a way of exchanging information, ideas, and opinions. These are some important high-context culture characteristics to look out for. [2], Website design among cross-cultural barriers include factoring in decisions about culture-sensitive color meanings, layout preferences, animation and sounds. Generally, the situation, people, and non-verbal elements are more important than the actual words that are communicated in a high-context culture. Anchor Press/Doubleday. You can find his work on The Print, Live Wire, and YouTube. Hofstede, G. (1984). Examples of low-context cultures include the United States, Australia, and many European countries. Watch this video from international business expert Erin Meyer [1]. Low and High Context Culture. High-context cultures: Much of the society's communication takes place through . Because of this, many features of cultural behavior in high-context cultures, such as individual roles and expectations, do not need much detailed or thought-out explanation. After completing this chapter, you will be able to: Now that we know, broadly, what culture is, lets discuss some ways to categorize aspects of different cultures. Low-context cultures (including North America and much of Western Europe) are logical, linear, individualistic, and action-oriented. High-context defines cultures that are usually relational and collectivist, and which most highlight interpersonal relationships. Required fields are marked *, This Article was Last Expert Reviewed on January 24, 2023 by Chris Drew, PhD. Communication Differences in Low-Context vs. High-Context Cultures, Comparing Communication Styles in Low- and High-Context Cultures, Additional Resources for Determining Cultural Contexts, Ethnocentrism and Cross-Cultural Competence, Additional Resources for Understanding Trompenaars Dimensions, Three Prototypes: Dignity, Face, and Honor Cultures, Ethnocentrism, Culture Shock, and Cultural Relativism. For example, in one country a cow is seen as leather, in another one - as a deity and in another one as dinner.
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