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Beyond Culture Study Guide & Plot Summary

Edward T. Hall
This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Beyond Culture.
This section contains 393 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Beyond Culture Study Guide

Beyond Culture Summary & Study Guide Description

Beyond Culture Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on Beyond Culture by Edward T. Hall.

Plot Summary

As a young man, Edward Hall worked as a construction foreman in Arizona, where he lived and worked with the Hopi Indians and later he conducted anthropological research among the Navajo Indians. During this time, he also gained firsthand experience of the Spanish American people and culture of Northern New Mexico. Hall's considerable experience of the Japanese culture came from his work as a consultant for the United States Government, where he specialized in facilitating intercultural transactions with embassy staff and in designing language learning courses for Americans working overseas and also for foreigners working in the United States. In "Beyond Culture," Hall draws on his personal, firsthand experience and quotes from material previously presented in his other publications, "The Silent Language," Doubleday & Company Inc., 1959, and "The Hidden Dimension," Doubleday & Company, 1966.

In this book, Hall introduces the highly-significant concept of man's extensions and illustrates the concept using examples from other species. He goes on to identify the misconception of extension transference as a major source of erroneous thinking in all facets of culture.

Another major idea presented in this book is the concept of high- and low-context communications that are used, in turn, as the basis for the classification of different aspects of culture and society, including national and organizational institutions. The scheme is further used to explain the ways that different cultures organize and control their institutions and the way high and low cultures deal with voluntary or imposed modification.

The theme of this book is the path to improvement in intercultural interaction. Resolution of the problems that arise in this field of contemporary society, in a world where different cultures have more and more frequent contact with each other, can only be achieved if each side is able to transcend the ingrained stereotypes present in its own culture. A major barrier to this transcendence is the fact that the human mind carries large portions of its predetermined cultural behavior and attitudes in the subconscious.

Part of the problem for Western culture in the United States lies in the malfunctioning of the American education system, which is criticized for being based on obsolete and erroneous ideas and for being over-bureaucratized.

Hall's objective in this book is to raise awareness of the latent, subconscious aspects of culture to conscious awareness and recognition, so that the issues of intercultural relationships can be dealt with successfully.

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This section contains 393 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Beyond Culture Study Guide
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Beyond Culture from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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