What is culture?

Culture is a set of shared values that a group of people holds.

These values affect how you think and act but also how you judge others

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How Culture Controls Communication

forbes.com

Cultures are either sequential or synchronic

Some cultures think of time sequentially – as a linear commodity to “spend,” “save,” or “waste.” Other cultures view time synchronically – as a constant flow to be experienced in the moment, and as a force that cannot be contained or controlled.

Whether time is perceived as a commodity or a constant determines the meaning and value of being “on time.”

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High-context cultures e.g. Mediterranean, Slav, Central European, are understood through context, nonverbal cues, and between-the-lines interpretation of what is actually said. 

Here, the meanings are created often through what is not said e.g. in body language, silences and pauses, relationships and empathy.

Low-context cultures e.g. most Germanic and English-speaking countries, expect messages to be explicit and specific. Here, the emphasis is on sending and receiving accurate messages directly, and by being precise with spoken or written words.

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Cultures are either affective or neutral

An affective culture is defined by the ability to readily show your emotions whereas a neutral culture keep their emotions in neutral and they do not show their feelings, but keep them carefully controlled and subdued.

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