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Lesson 101: Understanding the Brites
This is my site Written by Thomas Tøth on September 5, 2012 – 1:09 AM

I got an email with the picture below. OK. It’s supposed to be funny. And it is. But at the same time it actually illustrates the difficulties of communication very well.

Especially for Danes who typically are (much like Americans – and my guess is that the list is made by an American) very direct in their communication it is very difficult to communicate with e.g. Indians who has a more indirect way of communicating.

This difference between direct and indirect communication is what the antropologist Edward T. Hall calls low-context communication and high-context communication in his 1976 classic ‘Beyond Culture’.

If you want to know more about high vs. low context cultures and communication I recommend you read Hall’s book. If you don’t have the time here’s a link to a quick and dirty explanation of the concept.

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