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Wikipedia:Edward T. Hall was a pioneer in explaining cultural contexts. He broke things down into high-context (where many things are taken for granted) and low-context culture (where very little is taken for granted). He also explained different views on time and space.

Wikipedia:Geerte Hofstede is an influential Dutch sociologist who studied the interaction between national and organizational cultures.


M-Time vs P-Time

Monochronic Time (M-Time) is when you do things in discrete, scheduled chunks. Monochronic people tend to be low-context.

Polychronic Time (P-Time) is when interaction is valued over deadlines.


Proxemics is the study of space. Hall broke this down into high territoriality and low territoriality.

Hofstede's Five Cultural Dimensions

  • Power Distance Index. The extent to which less powerful members accept and expect that power is distributed unequally.
  • Individualism vs Collectivism. Loose vs strong ties.
  • Masculinity vs Femininity. Distribution of roles between genders. The hypothesis is that women's values differ less across different societies than men's. Assertiveness is "masculine," and modest caring is "feminine."
  • Uncertainty Avoidance Index. Tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity.
  • Long-Term Orientation vs Short-Term Orientation.

See Geert Hofstede's web site for more. ITAP International has a questionnaire based on Hofstede's work.

Cultural Transmission

See Also

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