Beyond culture by Edward t. Hall


We are monochronic and so do one thing at a time.We schedule.We keep appointments. We Save time and spend time.It is tangible to us and runs out.It helped industrialisation.

††††††††††† We think appointments are natural but it is not the only ďlogical ď way of doing it.It is not inherent in manís own rhythms and creative drives.Life doesnít happen divided into compartments.†††


††††††††††† Polychronic folk donít have lines in stores like us.


††††††††††† Time is connected to space.People need screeners if they are to be at one place.Welfare case workers need an office, but cannot have one because it is above them to get one.

††††††††††† Arabs and turks in contrast rarely are alone and dealing with only one person..Appointments with them donít work.In such beauracracies you must have or make a friend.

Chapter 2 man as extension

We alter our insides and outsides via extensions to survive.We alter internally and externally.Internally we have a conscience.†† This stops us from being sociopaths.

Some cultures do this externally.Doors and locks in southern europe kept men and women separate.

††††††††††† Our extensions, like the computer and bombs , show our mind and space.Many dismiss real life and treat abstract systems as real.Also tranference of externals like the science method to social studies or grammar tolanguage.

††††††††††† We learn to read, skate, ride bikes drive cars.These are our extensions, but they become our world.We donít look at what does lie behind them.Even thast we look at culture as an abstract shows some alienation.

††††††††††† Does one see themselves socially, famililialy , religiosly, politically, animally...


consistency and life- chapter 3

culture determines ons words, actions, postures, gestures, tones of voice, facial expressions the way one handles tme, space and tmaterials, and the way he works, plays, makes love and defends himself.Man learns these things and then they become natural, by hidden control.This is made harder to notice because we usually live as people around us do.

How do you deal as a school teacher in a culture where to stand out and work indiviually is bad.

††††††††††† Other cultures gifts is that they teach us about us.Japanese think we are distrustfu and paranoid because we need contracts.Onesí word is not considered good enough.What is it like to live in a distrustful world.

††††††††††† US embassadors were often kept waiting hours in middle eastern countries.Instead of finding out why, they made 20 minutes the waiting time directive.Long enough to be counted as there, and also to save face.Its good , but it just reinforces our model.But it is interesting ohow our internal and external times are regulated by convention.

††††††††††† The native americans couldnít work in our paradigm. We therefore just eliminated them.Another thing to do is ignore differences.


The americans were kept outside in the office because they were unkown and unintroduced and not part of the kinship.The americans could be heard outside yelling

about how imortant they were. But social relations, not status workded in the other country.Neither had learned, though both assumed the other had, about the others culture.

††††††††††† To be effective foreign businessmen and officials must drop their narcissim and preset schedules that determine the rate at which human relations transact.He had to build a relationship and make himself real, predictable and believable to the hosts.This is difficult for someone who thinks it a waste of time.Later they will be more known to eachother and can communicate faster.

††††††††††† Hidden culture chapter 4


Tell of hotel moving and different space.People entering hotel rooms inChina.In the US whether you can be moved or not is a matter of status.Our congressmen have offices.The english donít .They use accent and other cues to denote status.We use space, order of names called.†† What to do about being moved from hotel room to room.We tried to cope and see it as just different, but our guts were too enmeshed in what w

as normal for us.

††††††††††† If someone says they are no different than us you know that the speaker is living in a single-context world (his own) and is incapable of describing either his world or a foreign one.

††††††††††† In Japan one has to belong or doesnít have an identity.The company becomes someone.There are company songs.To join a hotel is to be family, and hence movable.It is a sign of intimacy.Hotels in Japan have you wear hotel clothes outside of your room.

††††††††††† We are concerned with our careers as a country.The older you get the more you want success and status in your field.So you get more attached to it.This supercedes personal relationships and we get tied to very few people.

††††††††††† It is important for japanese to place people in a context.Therefore, honorifics are used.


Rhythm and body movement chapter 5

Condon found that peoples movements synced very minutely with films of people.He also found our EEG scans synced.When the other person left they stopped syncing. He later found that white and bla

ck patterns of syncing are different.



The more divergent the cultures the more room for misreading bodily cues.


In high context cultures syncing is very noticable. It is found that groups sync via some larger organising principal than the individuals connote.So the girl who was runningabout and was found to be orchestrating the whole thing.†† Women have period s together and so there is an intra personal vibe which cojoins groups.Also, however, we donít know how to biologically deal with others and this produces discomfort.


The politics of it is that we think others are wrong or inferior.Blacks have long been thought of as underdeveloped whites.Their culture is just as complex and more so on many scales.For instance the drums that have a part for each of our body movements.



 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Western thinking has us looking at ideas rather than events.People at different places in different societies pay attention to differnt things.


Low context people put all into their language.To talk down to someone you do this ďpick up your pen,now turn it over, put the tip on the paper and write it for me!Ē.High context need say very little, like a long married couple.To understand chinese you must know something of the history.

In all things one must choose how much time to invest in contextualizing.Technical writing is usually very LC.People donít get it outside of the circle.High context groups change easier.It abandonss the past and the context easily.


what one does with information is made up of: the communication, the background and preprogrammed responce of the recipient, and the situation.What an organism perc

eives is influenced by status , activity, setting and experience.And for man you must add culture.

††††††††††† Extensions are usually low context.They are new .So the cd sized laser discs have very little culture built around them.Some extensions, the cathedrals, were high context.But new things arenít.To balance ease of change and some context is the buffer of future shock.


It is possible to live with tvs and not know how they work. It is possible to speak without knowing grammar and possible to live in a culture and not understand its dynamics or laws.

††††††††††† Some like that we have a government of laws, not men.some see it as cold and indifferent.Our law is abstract and is the ultimate low context.The facts, not heresay or the background is what is admissable. In French courts all is heard. Heresay gossip who hates who.What kind of people are involved.In business too we are detached and hard sell.The french are intimates and know thier client first.

††††††††††† Japanese court

s too are high context.One US soldier was tried for killing an older japanese woman.When they saw him strut proudly before the cameras and in the courtroom.They wondered how to try someone who hadnít a clue about anything? They found him innocent and asked to have him sent home forever.

††††††††††† The Japanese trial is a public show where the court can tell the accused of the consequences of their action and the accused can be contrite, and know in the big picture why it was wrong.

††††††††††† Your life is in the context of your job and this is a mighty bond of debt.You arentí told what to do and right ďnĒ wrong.It is assumed you know.When they have a problem it is assumed you know.They talk around it giving the context.If you say it outright it isan insult.

††††††††††† The HC person in authority is personally responsible for all below him. In LC you cover yourself with the system and the lowest rank person takes the fall.

††††††††††† Higher context countries make greater distinctions between insiders and outsiders.




Our scientific taxonomy system is low context.It classifies animals in ways which make no sense to the uninitiated.Other cultures use taxonomies that describe the animal.We have a penchant for detail out of context.This shows up in research and the biases of research grant criteria.A whole picture person, who requires high context , hasnít got a chance at a grant.

††††††††††† We are also very either or.We donít take to ďall of everything is trueĒ.

††††††††††† People remove themselves and withdraw quickly in low context cultures.It is harder to break ties in a HC culture.Therefore one can bend rules.But when the explosion comes it is big.The bounds have to really be crossed to be crossed and then they coannot be uncrossed.



Language is very situational.Low brow and high brow people require different language.We are low context.So much of our language teaching involves rules and words out of context.People study the parts but then cannot use them.One high context word use

situation is for air traffic controllers.

We put little value on what a person wears.High context folks do.

Man is situationally loving, hard-working hierarchical, playful agressive and co-operative.But different individuals seem to be endowed with different proportions of these traits.But if these traits are suppressed



We divide the world into animate and inanimate.Others donít Hopiís talked to their crops.They cannot concieve of things not living and needing love to grow.Also Hopis believe that everything has its own sense of time.We have overarching schedules.


Low context folk break off things if they donít like them or change their minds.High context folk must see things through.


Here is an action chain conflict.

††††††††††† For anglo americans in a dispute one starts with subtle innuendo and coolness (one must be polite) that something is messages via a third party, to verbal confrontation, then legal action and finally (if the law is on your side) force.

For Spanish americans there is first brooding, a verbal confrontation is to be avoided.The first incling that something is wrong is a show of force.Force or action is to the Spanish american a communicaiton.It is designed to get attention.Later comes legal action.

††††††††††† The spanish american aboidance of face to face confrontationswith anyone with whom you work or have a relationship can lead topeople just not coming to work instead of telling first and then not coming to work.††† Alsofamily ties

? are great.If you fire one person the whole family may quit..

††††††††††† High Context, spanish americans assume you can read moods. The initial brooding stage is a sort of communication.Low context anglos miss peoples minute to minute moods.

††††††††††† Japanese will ignore all breaches in protocol.Nothing comes before protocol.Therefore there are no foreshadowings that you are doing something wrong. Americans will push it and break silence and try to see what the bounds of a situation are.The breech is irreperable once broken.But, says the American, I wasnít forewarned.