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Copy of High Context vs. Low Context

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Léa Lambert

on 10 February 2014

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Transcript of Copy of High Context vs. Low Context

High Context vs. Low Context Cultures
By: Lizzy Choi, Alicia Cohen, Hunter Ferrell,
Melissa Franklin, and Hilary Calametti

High Context Culture...
Is the United States a High Context Culture?
Examples of High Context Culture Countries...
Saudi Arabia
High Context Culture:
Low Context Culture:
Low Context Culture...
Examples of Low Context Culture Countries
Hunter asks you if he looks fat in his outfit
when it clearly is not a flattering outfit on him.
How would a person from a high context culture respond?
How would a person from a low context culture respond?
What does the word culture mean to you?
Culture is the characteristic of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, and music to arts
(2012, What is Culture?)
when the social context or social environment is more important than the words being spoken
when words themselves are more important than the surrounding social context
United States
Words are not as important as context.
High Context Culture
High context communication or messages are ones in which most of the information is either in the physical context or internalized in the person while very little is in the coded, explicit, transmitted part of the message (2005, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication)
A high context culture is often characterized by the use of nonverbal strategies to convey meanings and messages
a low context culture relies on the precise and literal meanings of words
Low Context Culture
low context cultures are straight forward in telling what is expected
nonverbal communication is less important
"Low Context Cultures, on the other hand, rely on the literal and precise meaning of the words they use. They prefer explicit conversations where words convey the bulk of if not the entire message. Groups with this prefer written communication as they don't need to include the subtleness of nonverbal communication."
(A Quick Guide to Cultural Competency, Gupta, 2007)
"Context is the environment in which the communication takes place" (2012, Communication Research Reports)
Context can include tone of voice, facial expression, gestures, posture, and sometimes the family history and status of the speaker
What comes to mind when you think about Alabama and southern culture?
Examples of High Context Culture
The same example from before about where the Redbox I rented last night is. Whereas a high context culture's response would merely be "next to the TV" because the context is known and understood. For a low context culture, a response would be "in your house, in the living room, to the left of the TV, on top of the TV stand" because this culture relies more on words and their literal meanings.
Tune in next week!!
A set of norms that create powerful precedents for acceptable behavior within the organization
(Culture, Middleton, 2002)
I ask where I left the Redbox movie I rented last night. You respond with the answer, "next to the TV".
This requires that you know the context of who I am, where I live, where my living room is, and where my TV is located in the room.
In a highly contextual culture, a result could have been achieved without any verbal communication, by a mere unsatisfied expression on one’s face (2006, Journal of Linguistics)
Full transcript