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In the high-context culture, individuals acquire information about the culture and meaning from obeying the authority, through makings observations and imitating. Thus the children must be carefully trained in order to obtain knowledge in this approach and to internalize it. Due to the high-context cultures being deeply rooted in the past, they are highly stable and slow to change; one case in point is the Chinese practice of worshiping their ancestor.
The Chinese Culture
The Chinese cultures are also unified and cohesive. In such cultures, the individual is supposed to know what is meant at the unexpressed level or covert and how to react appropriately. Also other people are expected to understand without explanation or particular details. A lot of explanations given are offensive; this is because the speaker regards the listener as somebody without knowledge or who is not socialized enough to understand. According to the members of a low-context culture, the speakers of the high-context culture seem to talk around a subject and never seem to get to the point (Tan, par. 5).
In the high-context culture, the individuals are strongly bonded or united. The persons in power are personally and literally in charge for the actions of the assistants; this is independent of whether it is in the government, in business, or in the family. However, in the American culture, the general practice is to find a person to lay blame on or to serve as a scapegoat on behalf of those with more power and of high status. The forms or conventional ways of behaving are significant in a high-context culture. The person who does not follow the forms as expected is perceived negatively; thus the negative judgments for a person’s bad conduct may extend to the whole family.
Also in the Chinese culture, people act as if nothing has happened in an embarrassing or awkward state. In instances of minor disagreements, individuality and personality clashes are overlooked, in order that no action has to be taken. If an action has to be taken, it has to be done seriously; this is because any action that has been started has to be generally completed. The persons involved can’t stop an action simply because of changing their minds, because they have developed a different interest, because of unforeseen consequences have arose, or due to something better coming along. As a result there is always greater caution or even reluctance to set off an undertaking or to give an assurance. A child’s behavior may be overlooked by the Chinese parents because they have strong faith that the strong family tradition, which is based on ancestors, will make the child in the end to behave as it should be (Kate 45).
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