Beyond Culture - Chapter 11, Covert Culture and Action Chains Summary & Analysis

Edward T. Hall
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Much of the behavior ascribed to culture and social interaction takes place at the non-verbal level. At the same time, the action chain serves to contradict the popular misconception that each individual is free and independent of other people; in fact, action chains clearly show that each individual is acting within the sphere of influence of other people and situations. Thus, one of the problems with making people aware of the grip which culture has on them and their behavior is the fact that it is often denied. People will never become truly independent of their cultural constraints until they become conscious of the role and mechanisms of action chains.

If the step of verbal exchange is bypassed, there is a danger that the action chain will dissolve into violent behavior. In Western European culture...

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