High-Context Culture

(redirected from High-Context Cultures)

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 ?
On the contrary, in high-context cultures, information lies in the context and is not always verbalized.
The bulk of these KLEs have taken place within operating environments that are high-context cultures.
Taking into account a variety of different cultures and languages, one cannot simply claim, as is done by the author of the ESL textbook mentioned above, that people in the so-called high-context cultures share the same communicative patterns of behavior (i.
In contrast, in high-context cultures such as Japan and Turkey, communication includes body language and the use of silence (Wurtz, 2005).
For example, high-context cultures, such as China, are characterized by using indirect communication styles, and low-context cultures such as the USA and NZ are characterized by direct communication messages which are transmitted through clarity of styles and expressions.
In high-context cultures, such as Argentina and other Latin nations, communication is indirect and circular, and meaning is often implicit, while in low-context cultures, Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, Scandinavian, meaning is explicit and communication more direct.
Whereas most of the Western European societies and the United States of America (USA) are categorised as low-context cultures, the Asians, Africans, and some southern European societies are referred to as belonging to high-context cultures.
High-context cultures are those that rely less on verbal communication and more on nonverbal communication, actions and settings to find meaning.
high-context cultures offer a robust framework at the cultural level.
In high-context cultures such as Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, China, Japan, Iran, Afghanistan, or India, there is a less verbally detailed communication and less written/formal information.
So the theory of collective and high-context cultures along with their characteristics as demonstrated by Hall (1976, 1978) is supported.
Children in high-context cultures were encouraged to use more subtle cues, but those in low-context cultures were encouraged to use more verbal expressions.