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Introducing time and space

This video introduces Edward T. Hall’s concepts of Chronemics (time orientations) and Proxemics (space orientations). These provide helpful ways of de

This video introduces Edward T. Hall’s concepts of Chronemics (time orientations) and Proxemics (space orientations). These provide helpful ways of describing or contrasting culture standards for what is considered appropriate.

Culture is clearly more than just the context. Among the many other domains of culture, Edward T. Hall and other intercultural scholars have also observed behaviors related to how people use or respond to time and space in communication. Hall coined two terms:

Proxemics, for the varied perceptions and uses of distance and space (the primary focus in his book, The Hidden Dimension, 1966 and his academic reference work, The Handbook of Proxemic Research, 1974).

Chronemics, for analyzing various approaches to time (explored further in his later book, The Dance of Life 1983). This domain looks at how we treat time in nonverbal communication, how we perceive, structure, expect and react to frames related to time in our cultural systems. Hall coined the terms Mono- and Poly-chronic for describing contrasting patterns and Tom Bruneau coined the term Chronemics in 1973.

His proxemics work shows how most of us have personal and social space bubbles that we maintain. These form an invisible sense of appropriate distances according to the culture standards we’ve adopted, mostly by observed mimicry. Therefore they are best discovered in other contexts by training our observations, which we hope you’ll actively do in the next step.

Further resources:

We highly recommend Jeff Berglund’s “Space (Proxemics)” entry in the Sage Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication Competence and have provided the downloadable article.

This article is from the free online

Intercultural Communication: Dynamics of cultural identities in global interaction

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