High-Context Culture

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High-Context Culture

A culture in which a great deal of emphasis is placed upon the context, tone or circumstance of words used in addition to the meaning of the words themselves. For example, suppose one says, "I am fine," in response to the question, "How are you?" In a high-context culture, it should not necessarily be assumed that one is doing fine and that no further query needs to be made. Confusing cultural signals between a high-context and a low-context culture can create significant misunderstandings in both business and politics.
References in periodicals archive ?
This phenomenon is commensurate with the perspective of China as a high context culture and the U.
diplomacy in China has unique complexities because we are a low context culture practicing in a high context environment with (and in) a high context culture.
Everyone knows not to do this" is a valid claim for a high context culture where rules are implicit and rarely, if ever, broken.
After working closely for four years as Executive Director and Board President, Steve and I have developed many characteristics of a high context culture.
China is a high context culture, it focuses more on the value of relationships, social hierarchies, and less explicit communication.
As Augsburger (1992) maintains, the concept of "face" in high context cultures is very closely tied to the concepts of honor, shame, and obligation.
Even though the denotative pattern is easily accessible, clear, and unambiguous, it nonetheless presents some inadequacies if the message is decoded by a person belonging to a high context culture.
On the other hand, an Italian can also recognize it as an offensive message because, in addition to its meaning, in a high context culture, it also has a sense which is produced by what surrounds the message.
The high context culture relies on the contextual cues while the low context cultures rely on words to communicate.
High context cultures rely primarily on non-verbal communication (Simintiras and Thomas 1998), often drawing conclusions from informal interactions and other non-verbal variables such as values, status, and associations (Keegan 1989).
Additionally, an important finding in our study is that even though individuals from high context cultures are significantly less certain about communication overall, neither CA nor SPCC is predictive of communication certainty in either intracultural or intercultural relationships for those from high-context cultures.
High context cultures, on the other hand, derive meaning from the context rather than the actual words.
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