Contextual variations in communication - University of Nottingham

This paper briefly considers 'context' as one of anthropologist and cross-cultural researcher Edward Hall's (1914-2009) three dimensions influencing cultural interactions: time, context and space. Hall viewed culture as influencing every aspect of human life.  According to Hall, "it is the least studied aspect of culture that influences behaviour in the deepest and most subtle ways". (1977:14)[i]. Interesting use has been made of Hall's theory in the attempt to understand Malaysian culture[ii] and some of the Confucian Heritage cultures[iii].


[i] Hall, E.T. (1976) Beyond Culture. Garden City, New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday.

[ii] Salleh, L.M. (2005) "High/Low Context Communication: The Malaysian Malay Style" in Proceedings of the 2005 Association for Business Communication Annual Convention. <> Accessed: 29 September 2009.

[iii] Kim, D., Pan Y. and Part, H.S. (1998) "High- versus Low-Context Culture: A Comparison of Chinese, Korean, and American Cultures". Psychology and Marketing Vol 15(6): 507-521.

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