Edward T. Hall

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Edward Hall
Born May 16, 1914(1914-05-16)
Webster Groves, Missouri
Residence Santa Fe, New Mexico
Citizenship United States
Nationality United States
Fields Anthropology
Institutions United States Army, University of Denver, Bennington College, Harvard Business School, Illinois Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, United States Department of State
Alma mater Columbia University
Known for High context culture, proxemics, monochronic and polychronic time

Edward T. Hall (born May 16, 1914) is an anthropologist and cross-cultural researcher.

Born in Webster Groves, Missouri, Hall has 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 through 1937 Hall lived and worked with Navajo and Hopi on native American reservations in northwestern Arizona, the subject of his autobiographical West of the Thirties. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1942 and continued field work and direct experience throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia. During the 1950s he worked for the United States State Department teaching inter-cultural communications skills to foreign service personnel, developed the concept of "High context culture" and "low context culture", and wrote several popular practical books on dealing with cross-cultural issues.

Hall first created the concept of proxemics, or personal spaces. In his book, The Hidden Dimension, he describes the subjective dimensions that surround each of us and the physical distances one tries to keep from other people, according to subtle cultural rules.

In The Silent Language (1959), Hall also coined the term polychronic to describe the ability to attend to multiple events simultaneously, as opposed to "monochronic" individuals and cultures who tend to handle events sequentially.

In 1976, he released his third notable book, Beyond Culture, which is notable for having developed the idea of extension transference; that is, that humanity's rate of evolution has and does increase as a consequence of his creations, that we evolve as much through our "extensions" as through our biology. But, with extensions such as the wheel, cultural values, warfare, being technology based, they are capable of much faster adaptation than genetics.

Hall currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and frequently visits with family, students, and friends who live in the area.

Admirers of Hall's style of grounding anthropological theorizing in concrete examples would probably also like the work of sociologist Stanislav Andreski.

[edit] Books

  • The Silent Language (1959)
  • The Hidden Dimension (1966)
  • Beyond Culture (1976)
  • The Dance of Life: The Other Dimension of Time (1983)
  • Handbook for Proxemic Research
  • Hidden Differences: Doing Business with the Japanese
  • An Anthropology of Everyday Life: An Autobiography (1992, Doubleday, New York)
  • Understanding Cultural Differences - Germans, French and Americans (1993, Yarmouth, Maine)
  • West of the Thirties. Discoveries Among the Navajo and Hopi (1994, Doubleday, New York etc.)

[edit] External links

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