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E. T. Hall’s dimensions of time and space and their relevance in professional cultural interaction

Term Paper 2014 12 Pages

Communications - Intercultural Communication

Excerpt

Table of contents

1. Introduction 3

2. Theoretical basics 3

2.1. Edward T. Hall – A short introduction 3

2.2. Hall’s dimensions of culture 4

3. Time in a cultural context 4

3.1. Time as structure 4

3.2. Time as communication 5

3.3. Relevance of time in professional cultural interaction 6

4. Space in a cultural context 8

4.1. Space as communication 8

4.2. Personal reaction bubbles 9

4.3. Relevance of space in professional cultural interaction 10

5. Conclusion 11

6. References 12

Table of figures

Figure 1: Hall's dimensions of culture 5

1. Introduction

Time and space surround every people all around the world and are taken for grated in everyday life. Both are physical quantities which are subject to physical laws. These laws are the same anywhere in the world. However, there is yet another definition of these two concepts. The following paper examines the dimensions time and space in a cultural context. It describes the approach of Edward T. Hall to both dimensions and discusses their relevance in professional cultural interaction. The goal is to provide insights into factors influencing cultural behaviour. These insights can be useful for any area of a company, from leadership to human resources to marketing. Therefore, this paper is chiefly addressed to entrepreneurs and employees with international or intercultural business contacts.

In the first section, the paper gives basic information about Hall and his major concepts. Afterwards, Hall’s dimension of time is explained more precisely and its relevance in a professional context is discussed. In the fourth paragraph, the focus is on Hall’s concept of space and its relevance in pro­fessional cultural interaction. The final section summarizes the main points.

2. Theoretical basics

2.1. Edward T. Hall – A short introduction

Edward Twitchell Hall was an American anthropologist and cross-cultural researcher (1914 - 2009).[1] He developed the concept of proxemics – the study of the human use of space.[2] It is considered as a subcategory of nonverbal communication. Furthermore, he introduced a number of new concepts, including polychronic and monochronic time, [3] and high and low context culture.[4] Hall's research had substantial influence on the development of intercultural communication as a research topic. He published several books about this topic and his writings continue to be relevant into the 21st century.

2.2. Hall’s dimensions of culture

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Figure 1: Hall's dimensions of culture (own figure)

The results of Hall’s research are four key cultural concepts. The most famous one is the concept of contexting. According to this it is possible to order the cultures of the world on a scale from high to low context.[5] That means that some cultures communicate more implicit and need less background information while others communicate more explicit and need more background information. [6] Messaging is another dimension. It regards the pace or flow of communication. Hall discovered that cultures can be distinguished by the speed with which a message is decoded or acted on.[7] The other two dimensions are time and space which are examined in more detail in the following paragraphs.


[1] Edward T. Hall website, 2014, 02.10.2014, http://www.edwardthall.com

[2] cf. Hall, Edward T., A System for the Notation of Proxemic Behavior, 1963, p. 1003

[3] cf. Hall, Edward T., The Hidden Dimension, 1966, p. 173

[4] cf. Hall, Edward T., Beyond Culture, 1976, p. 105 ff

[5] cf. Hall, Edward T., Hall, Mildred Reed, Hidden Differences, 1987, p. 7

[6] cf. Hall, Edward T., Beyond Culture, 1976, p. 91

[7] cf. Hall, Edward T., Hall, Mildred Reed, Hidden Differences, 1987, p. 5

Details

Pages
12
Year
2014
ISBN (eBook)
9783656890119
ISBN (Book)
9783656890126
File size
389 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v288652
Grade
1,7
Tags
intercultural communication time space hall cultural behaviour

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Title: E. T. Hall’s dimensions of time and space and their relevance in professional cultural interaction