High low context cultures

Topics: Nonverbal communication, Communication, Interpersonal relationship, Body language, Writing, Paralanguage / Pages: 8 (542 words) / Published: Jun 21st, 2015
High Context and Low Context

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).
Low-context communication is “the mass of information is vested in the explicit code”.


High Context
High context refers to societies or groups where people have close connections over a long period of time.
Many aspects of cultural behavior are not made explicit because most members know what to do and what to think from years of interaction with each other.


Characteristics of High Context
People are aware of who is accepted as a group member
 Much formal information and rules are known, less requirement in writing  People know what the other person means by reading hidden cues.
 Long lasting relationships
 Knowledge is confidential with closer relationships  Activities and decisions based on rapport and personable relationships.
 Authoritative figures are mostly in control 


Low Context
Low context refers to societies where people tend to have many connections but of shorter duration or for some specific reason. In these societies, cultural behavior and beliefs may need to be spelled out explicitly so that those coming into the cultural environment know how to behave.


Characteristics of Low Context

People play by clearly defined external rules
A clear pattern of activities
Information is specific and transparent Close relationships for a small duration of time
Knowledge is open and transferable Focus on task and responsibilities are shared
Results are the top priority in decision making

Hall’s High/Low-context Cultural
Low-context culture Factor

High-context culture

Overtness of messages

Many covert and implicit messages, with use of metaphor and reading between the lines.

Many overt and explicit messages that are simple and

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