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Beyond Culture

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  672 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Edward T. Hall opens up new dimensions of understanding and perception of human experience by helping us rethink our values in constructive ways. "A fascinating book." -- Ashley Montag, "Chicago Daily News"
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 7th 1976 by Anchor Books (first published 1976)
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  672 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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Jun 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating. I read this in grad school and actually kept my copy so I could re-read it, which I'm finally doing. I did remember that the first time I read it, I kept being thrown by his constant referral to "man" when he means "people." It's jarring enough that I finally understood all the fuss about "he/she." And I think some of his theories would now be considered naive or overly generalized, but they are thought-provoking nonetheless.
Taylor Ellwood
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: academia
I've always found Hall's books to be interesting and relevant to my life from business to spirituality and this book has lived up to that same expectation. In this book Hall, discusses inter-cultural communication patterns and raises up concerns about the tendency to focus toward using external resources as opposed to examining and utilizing internal, behavior skills. I find this relevant in an age where more than ever the focus is on using technology to communicate, with all the inherent proble ...more
Jul 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books everyone who wants to understand society adn cultural differences ought to read. Well written and insightful, it explains how culture is created and maintained and how it shapes the very worldview of the group it represents via customs, lannguage, and history. Why people of different cultures have difficulty understanding the other is explained and this is the first step to managing relations between cultures, races, and nations much more effectively. Our world is in s ...more
Eugenia Vlasova
Jul 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cross-cultural
When I bought Beyond Culture, I thought that this book is good to begin cross-cultural studying with. I didn't expect to get any practical use of it. I was wrong. Besides expanding my knowledge of communicative linguistics and other related science, I learned how to recognize cultural issues in my everyday work, I got deeper understanding of behavior of my colleagues from other countries. I really found this book very helpful. However, Beyond Culture is not a how-to sort of books. I'd say, this ...more
A rich anthropological research on culture. Hall investigates the manner by which culture does not only mean a set of beliefs, religions, ways of thinking etc., culture is also a shape that makes use of extensions that one is either aware or unaware of.
Дмитрий Филоненко
I have a bit mixed feeling about this book. Definitely I would recommend it to everyone. At the same time I can say that basing on reviews on Goodreads I expected more from this book.

The main idea of the book is how unaware we can be about cultural unconscious inside us. Currently we can see a lot of conflicts in the world both on the borders of states and inside any state among different ethnic groups as well. There are many talks about necessity of having common ground in understanding the
Rachel Lowry
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fascinating. From understanding rituals through to how your culture influences the way you walk, I enjoyed this book because it helped me broaden my thinking and was a great reminder that we all view the world through a cultural lens that shapes our perceptions. If we could all take the time to better understand not only other cultures, but reflect on our own cultural bias, we’d certainly live in a more tolerant world.
Shellee Diggs
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had to read this for a graduate intercultural communication class - I ended up liking it.
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When I read this book it blew my mind. Part of this book discusses some major differences in cultures such as communication and values that explain why certain cultures have difficulty with one another. It goes 'beyond culture' in the sense that it delves into science discussing things like communication, language, perception etc.

The book was written some time ago and I feel that global cultures have changed and evolved since it was written but the examples show you the root of the cultures we
Nov 14, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I read the first sentence to myself. Ungodly. Then I read it to Taylor.

He commented, "Y'know what's especially funny? If that's the first sentence, you know he must have spent a lot of time on it and be really proud of it."

Then I returned the book to the library, remembering why I was not a humanities major.
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: grad-school
A great and accessible start to intercultural studies. He only gets too opaque in a few chapters.

Some of the theories are since dated, and I found his tone to be questionable at times, but this is essentially one of the foundations of the field. Read it for an understanding of the concepts and jargon, and then move on to more recent writings.
Jun 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A remarkable, illuminating, and happily readable read. One can find points of interest peppered continuously along this delightful ride, and enjoy a work where abstract concepts are probed in simple, understandable language. A classy piece of scholarship.
Jan 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
I hope to read more from Hall. He complex and confusing aspects of human behavior in such a clear, cogent and engaging way. His sections on bureaucracy, education, irrationality and identity were a treat!
Bradley Scott
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fantastic book by a very perceptive man.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book has been diluted by time - I imagine when it was published it was a bombshell, but so many ideas here have diffused out into our wider culture that it's sometimes amusing to read ideas here that have now become commonplace. Still, it's worth reading for Hall's analysis and anecdotes.

The basic concept of the book is that like an iceberg (and our minds), culture has a small visible portion and a much larger submerged portion we don't realize - concepts of time, respectfulness, personal s
Neil Talbert
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Disorganized and dated, but some useful ideas buried within.

Drawing on his experience with American Indians and the Japanese, he talks extensively about the differences between high- versus low-context cultures, such as regarding logocentricism, communicative styles, and creativity. This discussion is scattered through the book, and the main idea of most chapters can be found on the last page.

To me, his most interesting idea is that people within a culture can describe what makes sense within th
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of the foundational books of the field of intercultural communication.
Teri Temme
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Superb. I am devouring all of his books. Very enlightening. Read this book to understand the world around you and you.
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jan 04, 2018 rated it liked it
A bit dense and academic, but worth a read if this is a topic of interest. It gave me a lot to think about.
Nicole Lisa
Feb 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, non-fiction
Another very interesting examination of how to study culture, from the influence of the filtering of the senses, to the use of space and architecture, body movement, and the difference between high context and low context cultures (especially, according to the definitions in the book, as I am low-context as an American currently living in a high-context culture in Thailand). Again, as this book is 40 years old, I'm not sure what parts of language acquisition and theories of memory functions are ...more
Feb 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: culture, crit

I read this book with the idea of learning more about intra-cultural understanding than cross-cultural. I think it was helpful. It was certainly engrossing. I read it while in the middle of a major hubbub having to do with being in a book fair promoting my own book. I've spent years thinking about the cultural understanding and lack of same between the local population and the visiting population in a particular place, that being the East End of Long Island. My lifetime obsession with this topic
May 06, 2015 rated it liked it

This book was great. Beyond culture expressed everything that describes us. The author explained how I have my views and beliefs. He also explained communication and how it is affected by culture. Culture is just one word but has so much behind the word that really its what makes us who we are and how we act. There are major differences between different cultures. Every culture has their own values/morals. With so many cultures it's impossible to understand each other all the time. I really love
Oct 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Hall presents some observations from his career and provides some understandable examples and analogies to assist the non-anthropologist in grasping the ideas he is suggesting. He does this fairly well and, for the lay-person, this a good introduction to thinking outside of your own lived experience and that of your immediate societal circle. Like the ghosts of Christmas, past, present, and future, Hall walks us up to the window of someone else's home that we might see and understand how they li ...more
Corey Rowe
Mar 10, 2010 rated it liked it
says the same thing a million times in a million different ways. doesn't have good chapter endings to remind you what you just learned. and didn't stress the difference between context and mimicry enough for me to remember it on my midterm. but he was supposedly "revolutionary" in cultural anthropology and psychology, so if you're interested in that stuff, you kind of have to start here.
Fenixbird SandS
Jul 21, 2009 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Fenixbird by: Amazon recommendations
"Two widely divurgent but interrelated experiences, psychoanalysis and work as an anthropologist, have led me to the belief that in his strivings for orders, Western man has created chaos by denying that part of his self that integrates while enshrining the parts that fragment experience. These examinations of man's psyche..."
Ariel Cruz
Jan 06, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who just finished some McLuhan and want something more straightforward, but less rich.
Shelves: sociology

Pretty bland in the theoretical department, but it does contain some damned interesting anecdotes and quick summeries of then-current anthropological studies especially those dealing with the anthropological sub-field of kinesics or the study of bodymovement from culture to culture.
Plumb Bob
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
I thought it wouldn't be so engaging, but kept me interested from front to back. Veeery interesting xD
Aug 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Text for class.
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Born in Webster Groves, Missouri, Hall taught at the University of Denver, Colorado, Bennington College in Vermont, Harvard Business School, Illinois Institute of Technology, Northwestern University in Illinois and others. The foundation for his lifelong research on cultural perceptions of space was laid during World War II when he served in the U.S. Army in Europe and the Philippines.

From 1933 th
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“The study of man is the study of his extensions.” 3 likes
“It is characteristic of all extension systems to be treated as distinct and separate from the user and to take on an identity of their own. Religions, philosophies, literature, and art illustrate this. After a time, the extended system accretes to itself a past and a history as well as a body of knowledge and skills that can be learned. Such systems can be studied and appreciated as entities in themselves.” 1 likes
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