High and Low Context Culture

Topics: Communication, Sign language, Nonverbal communication Pages: 3 (734 words) Published: January 6, 2013



 In a high context culture, many things are left unsaid, letting the culture explain. Words and word choice become very important in higher context communication, since a few words can communicate a complex message very effectively to an in-group (but less effectively outside that group), while in a lower context culture, the communicator needs to be much more explicit and the value of a single word is less important.

• Relationships depend on trust, build up slowly, are stable. One distinguishes between people inside and people outside one's circle. • How things get done depends on relationships with people and attention to group process. • One's identity is rooted in groups (family, culture, work). • Social structure and authority are centralized; responsibility is at the top. Person at top works for the good of the group. Association

• Relationships begin and end quickly. Many people can be inside one's circle; circle's boundary is not clear. • Things get done by following procedures and paying attention to the goal. • One's identity is rooted in oneself and one's accomplishments. • Social structure is decentralized; responsibility goes further down (is not concentrated at the top). Interaction

• High use of nonverbal elements; voice tone, facial expression, gestures, and eye movement carry significant parts of conversation.          • Verbal message is implicit; context (situation, people, nonverbal elements) is more important than words.                 • Verbal message is indirect; one talks  around the point and embellishes it.                   • Communication is seen as an art form—a way of engaging someone.                              • Disagreement is personalized. One is sensitive to conflict expressed in  another's nonverbal...
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