Hall Edward and his concepts

Each culture is rich in its logic and ideas about the world. Those things that are significant in some nations may be useless in others. That is why representatives of other cultures should be respected. Hall in his theories and concepts convinces everyone that all cultures contain a number of basic elements that are decisive in the methods of communication and human behavior.

"Great grandfather"

Hall Edward was born in May 1914 in the United States, in Missouri. In 1942, Mr .. became a graduate of Columbia University and then began to work in various universities in America.

E. Hall, Jr. is an anthropologist and cross-cultural researcher. In the 50s for the first time introduces the concept of intercultural communication, created by him to adapt American employees in other countries.

Hall edward

Hall is considered the creator of such a science as proxemics (the field of social psychology aimed at studying the spatial, temporal communication system), the developer of the concept of group cohesion, and also the great progenitor of NLP (neurolinguistic programming).

The great anthropologist in the course of his research comes to a new understanding of the relationship of people with each other. Each of the individuals has its own territory, which he considers personal. And the distance in communication is determined by a number of factors: origin, personal preferences or cultural affiliation.

Culture Context Types

Edward Hall's famous theory of high- and low-contextual cultures talks about the use of certain unspoken and hidden rules that are essential for understanding events and communicating between individuals. Moreover, the complexity of the culture is due to the abundance of contextual information necessary for understanding the social situation. And the more complex civilization, the more difficult the social situation is understood by strangers.

edward hall cultural grammar concept

Hall Edward divided cultures into high context and low context.

A culture of high context implies a successful understanding of all events, since a high density of information is designed for close ties between individuals. It doesn’t matter if it is communication with friends, colleagues or family members. Highly contextual cultures are homogeneous, practically do not change over time and can easily contact foreign cultures. The studies of E. Hall showed that everyday communication of individuals does not require detailed information about events, since they are always up to date with what is happening.

edward hall theory

Hall included Russia, France, Italy, Japan, Spain and the Middle East as countries with a high context.

In turn, low context cultures are distinguished by the practical absence of an informal information network. Such cultures are heterogeneous, relations between individuals occur within strict boundaries. At the same time, individuals themselves share personal relationships and work aspects. This feature has led to the fact that representatives of low context cultures need additional information about what is happening around and for communication with other cultures. Countries with a low context include the USA, Germany, Switzerland, as well as the Scandinavian and other Nordic countries.

The main differences of cultures according to Hall theory

The main differences in the thinking of peoples can be presented in table form.

Culture context

High context

Low context


Unexpressed and hidden manner of speech; the presence of numerous pauses

Direct and expressive

Non-verbal communication

Ability to speak with a look; assigning great importance to non-verbal communication

Non-verbal communication plays a minor role

Expression of emotion

Hidden emotionality in any situation and at any outcome of communication

Open emotionality


Initial knowledge is enough for communication

All issues are clearly and clearly discussed; lack of knowledge of the interlocutor is equivalent to understatement and low competence in a particular issue

Cultural grammar

The concept of cultural grammar of Edward Hall is aimed at recognizing differences and developing tolerance for representatives of different cultures. In other words, you must respect your partner, as he has the right to be different, to think differently. Knowledge of the life characteristics of other cultures is crucial in the communication and behavior of individuals.

Hall Edward believed that time was the most important cultural category. This category is an index of the rhythm of life and activity in general. And as much as time is valuable in culture, the type and form of communication between individuals is changing. That is why, communicating with a representative of a particular culture, one must take into account his attitude to this category.

For example, people in the West know the price of time, so being late can be regarded as a tough fault. But in the Arab or Asian countries, being late will not surprise anyone. Moreover, in order to start a normal business dialogue, you first need to talk about anything, that is, spend time on idle chatter.

In most cases, representatives of different cultures are little guided by ideas about each other's time. This leads to ineffective communication and complicates cooperation.

Therefore, each individual must be able to understand the temporal system of a foreign culture.

Bibliography of E. Hall

Edward Hall, whose books are widely sought after by anthropologists, has become a popular author. The following is a list of his most famous works.

Edward hall books

  • 1959 - “Silent Language”.
  • 1966 - “Hidden Sizes”.
  • 1976 - “Beyond Culture”.
  • 1983 - "Dance of life, another dimension of time."
  • 1983-1985 - “Hidden Differences: Research in International Communication.”
  • 1987 - “Hidden Differences: Doing Business with the Japanese.”
  • 1990 - "Understanding Cultural Differences: Germans, French, and Americans."

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/A10873/

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