Informed Communication in High Context and Low Context Cultures

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In a variety of cross-cultural studies, comparisons are attached to Hall’s (1976) notion of contexting. A commonly accepted distinction is made between high-context and low-context cultures. The purpose of this study was to determine whether this characterisation affects some facets of culture-specific communication styles, that is, preferences in the use of context and information for constructing meaning in communication. Specifically, data were collected from 774 subjects so that a comparison could be made. Representing three ethnically identified cultural groups—Dutch, Greek, and Japanese—the subjects completed an online survey where they reflected on the way in which they think they communicate. The results reveal some clear differences between the cultural groups in their reported communication style. The Dutch used relatively more non-verbal communication; the Greeks used more hand gestures, and the Japanese were more indirect in their communication. A cultural divergence emerged, in that, the Greeks living in the Netherlands reported higher levels of non-verbal communication, were more indirect, and used more metaphors than did the Greeks living in Greece.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalJournal of Education, Innovation, and Communication
Issue number1
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • communication style
  • cross-cultural
  • Hall
  • low context
  • high context

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