High and Low Context Culture

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The differences of workgroup norms and behavior between high- and low-context cultures Hema Rohira COM-623-7325-Global Communication 10/23/2012 Professor Efrem Lieber Abstract Anthropologist, Edward T. Hall, in his book “Beyond Culture “presented the terms, High Context culture and Low context Culture, denoting inherent cultural differences between societies. As per, Hall, in, “High context culture most of the information is either in the physical context or initialized in the person” while, in, “Low context culture the mass of information is vested in the explicit code”. In order to understand the above definitions, we need to dwell more on these two sets of cultures in terms of their attitude towards relationships, tasks, time, and group, and individuality, verbal nonverbal words and the essence of gestures and body language in the communication. In High context culture the choice of words is essence since few words can communicate entire message effectively in the group belonging to that culture, the context, gestures and body language play significant role in the communication. The people belonging to this culture keep relationships on high pedestal, groups are valued over individuals, the group relies on their background to explain the situation, rather than words doing it. The people cling more to their history and traditions which they pass on from one generation to another so that there is a little or no generation gap, India, the high-context culture, the customs and rituals are inherited and hence generations to generations they are religiously followed without much questioning. The people of this culture demand more intimate and long term relationships and they may be frustrated by people appearing to not want to develop a stable relationship. Trust is a building block in such a culture, infect written contracts are looked down upon as
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