4.2. boundary is surrounded by a series of invisible

4.2. By Hall


Edward Twitchell Hall – born in 1914 – ‘was an anthropologist and
cross-cultural researcher. He will be remembered for developing the concept of
proxemics and exploring cultural and social cohesion, and describing how people
behave and react in different types of culturally defined personal space.’ (wikipedia.org,

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Edward Hall’s theory – foundation was set during World War II – is mainly
divided into four dimensions: high and low context culture, proxemics
(“space”), polychronic and monochronic time, and information flow. (wikipedia.org, 2018) These
four dimensions will be taken into account.


4.2.1. High-Context vs. Low-Context


The first dimension describes cultures based on ‘how explicit the messages
exchanged are and how much the context means in certain situations.’ (wikipedia.org, 2018) According
to this dimension, Denmark is perceived as a low context culture. In
low-context cultures, messages are direct and do have a simple and clear
meaning. (Jacobsen, B.
(2017) Intercultural Management, Culture II) Of course, more explanation
is needed, but there is less chance of misunderstanding. (Jacobsen,
B. (2017) Intercultural Management, Culture II)


Culture also affects people’s facial expression. People in low-context
cultures tend to show more visible and outward reaction. (Jacobsen, B. (2017)
Intercultural Management, Culture II) ‘This is because, in a low-context
cultural environment, people tend to express themselves as explicit as
possible, thus exaggerating facial expression becomes a complementary tool for
further elaboration of the speaker’s meaning by conveying speaker’s emotion
vividly and effectively avoid misunderstanding.’ (Serendipitynews.com, 2017)


4.2.2. Proxemics


The second dimension – proxemics – is defined by Hall as ‘this visible
boundary is surrounded by a series of invisible boundaries that are more
difficult to define but are just as real. These other boundaries begin with the
individual’s personal space and terminate with her or his territory.’ (Intercultural
Communication: a joint project between Effat University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
and Hope College, Holland, MI, USA, 2017) Denmark is supposed to be a high
territoriality culture. (Jacobsen,
B. (2017) Intercultural Management, Culture II) Danes do consider places
and objects as personal property. They seek to mark up their territory in their
possession and perhaps have boundary wars with neighbours. (Jacobsen, B. (2017)
Intercultural Management, Culture II)


4.2.3. Polychronic
vs. Monochronic time


Every culture views time differently. Danes do belong to monochronic
cultures. (Halltheory.wikia.com,
2018) These cultures have a linear time orientation where only one thing
can be accomplished at a time. (Pmi.org, 2017) People from monochronic cultures
view schedule and punctuality as essential. It assumes careful planning due to
the important approach ‘time management’. (Anon, 2018) Most Danes do concentrate on one
thing at a time, and do not like to be interrupted. (Jacobsen, B. (2017) Intercultural Management,
Culture II)


4.2.4. Flow of


The fourth dimension – flow of information – is described by Hall as ‘the
speed with which a message can be decoded and acted ….’ (Jacobsen, B. (2017)
Intercultural Management, Culture II) The fact that Danes do plan information
carefully and structured, leads to the assumption that it is a culture with a
slow flow of information. Poetry, books, art, and also TV documentaries need a
longer time to be decoded by the people. (Jacobsen, B. (2017) Intercultural Management, Culture