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15 Types of Context

 , August 21, 2022 updated on May 29, 2023
Context is the environment, situation and conditions where something happens. Generally speaking, events and communications can't be understood without considering their context. For example, if you had a conversation with someone on a flight from New York to Paris on July 22nd, 1988 -- that conversation is bound by the social, cultural, political, economic and technological realities of this moment. The following are common examples of context.
Communication Context - the social, historical, political and cultural context where a communication occurs
Cultural Context - the culture that applies to a particular situation
Economic Context - the economic system and conditions where something happens
Global Context - a big picture consideration of the entire world
High Context Culture - cultures based on relationships and rigid norms
Historical Context - the way people thought and the realities of their life at a time and place
Linguistic Context - the meaning of a word depends on the surrounding words, topic, subject etc..
Local Context - local community, culture, politics, economy, environment etc...
Low Context Culture - transactional and inclusive cultures
Narrative Context - the story surrounding something
Physical Context - the physical place and realities where something happens
Political Context - the struggle for power and influence that applies to a situation
Social Context - social situation and environment
Technological Context - the technologies available to a time and place
User Context - what a user is trying to do at a point in time (relevant to design)
Historical context is a catch-all that refers to the social, cultural, economic and political context of anything that occurred in the past.
Overview: Context
The environment, situation and conditions where something happens.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about context.
Context Analysis
Context Examples
Cultural Context
Economic Context
External Context
Historical Context
Internal Context
Social Context
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