High-Context Culture

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 ?
Hall put forward the context theory and distinguished high-context culture from low-context culture.
Such an oversimplified presentation of the high-context culture does not take into account the cultures and languages of numerous minorities who live in the geographical space outlined by the author.
The above implies that advertising messages designed for a low-context culture will hardly work in a high-context culture and vice versa.
In contrast, communication in a high-context culture is indirect, implicit, internalized, or more dependent on physical and psychosocial contexts.
India has always been and still continues to be a collective, high-context culture, while the United States is an individualistic, low-context culture.
In addition, Hall's work (1976), which first introduced the ideas of high-context culture and low-context culture, also instigated widespread discussions concerning sociocultural differences in human behaviors, including the area of children's social competencies.
The United States and Finland are considered low-context cultures, while Chile is considered a high-context culture (Chua and Gudykunst 1987; Koeszegi et al.
Hall (1976) suggests that high-context culture would convey messages in an abstract, implicit, and indirect manner, and that meanings are interpreted based on the intuition and contemplation of the audience.
In a high-context culture such as Japan or China, communication relies more on body language and assumed knowledge, and the context can be implied rather than communicated directly.
Thus, for a high-context culture, a long-standing relationship is a prerequisite to the successful conduct of business, while for a low-context culture it is not.
Too much information was presented in the resume, which reflects the findings that people from a high-context culture tend to place more emphasis on nonverbal cues (Hall, 1989; Vida, 1999).