High Context Pockets

Lesson 2: Topic 1 of 19

The U.S. has some high context pockets.

While the United States’ cultures tend to be quite low context, there are environments where high context rules the day. A courtroom, for example, has strict protocols for judges, bailiffs, attorneys, plaintiffs and defendants, and even observers. Disregarding the rules may earn anyone disobeying the judge either ejection from the courtroom, or time in jail for contempt of court. 

Pixabay on Pexels lpc lmft do md lmsw msw lnfa lnha lpc ceu nfa nha lcp lpc

The military is likewise high context, with strictly enforced codes of conduct, rank recognition, and disciplinary consequences. Even the behavior of an officer’s children could affect his or her chances of being promoted! This subculture is deliberately chosen for various reasons. Each member is then trained into the culture. A soldier of the U.S. military chooses to step into a different, high context life.

In lesser ways, sports teams and even weddings have higher context boundaries in place for those who participate. Traditions and rules give a sense of continuity and unity to members of the group in these settings. When we follow the guidelines for participating, we feel a sense of belonging. But these are ways that we step out of our low context culture temporarily.