Cultural-Communicative Styles: The Case of Indonesia and India


The present study examines, defines and evaluates the cultural-communicative styles of Indonesia and India. The analysis presented in the report is based on Hall's theory (1959, 1966, 1976, 1983) of high-context (HC) and low-context (LC) cultures and Geert Hofstede's (1997) cultural dimension of collectivism versus individualism. The report also suggests how potential gaps between members of different cultures can be bridged by promoting intercultural acceptance. Empirical and theoretical research has been used in this study to establish, and frame, key investigative questions. When viewed through the lens of Hall’s theory (Hall 1959, 1966, 1976, 1983), India and Indonesia can both be classified as HC cultures, although India appears to be moving in the direction of LC culture. When both the cultures are observed via Hofstede's (2008) cultural dimension of collectivism versus individualism, it is evident that Indonesia is a collectivist culture whereas India is both individualistic and collectivistic. There are marked differences in the way Indians and Indonesians interact, yet they share a number of similarities, including respecting their elders and maintaining dedication in accomplishing tasks. More research is needed to explore both of these cultures, as the literature available on the topic of cultural-communicative differences is limited in this context. More generally, people from different cultures communicate in ways that could lead to misconceptions. Coming to terms with the complexity of cross-cultural interactions is a prerequisite for engaging in successful intercultural communication with people from different backgrounds. In turn, globalization calls for more and more intercultural communication and cooperation.

Author Information
Munmun Gupta, Binus University, Indonesia
Katharina Endriati Sukamto, Atma Jaya Catholic University, Indonesia

Paper Information
Conference: ACL2020
Stream: Language and Culture

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon