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tacit culture

Definition of Tacit Culture

(noun) Social knowledge of which people are usually unaware of and is not discussed.

Example of Tacit Culture

  • The unspoken distance between two people during conversations based on the situation. A researcher would note nods, posture and touching while collecting demographic information.

Tacit Culture Pronunciation

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /ˈtæsət ˈkəltʃər/
    • British English
      • /ˈtasɪt ˈkʌltʃə/
  • Syllabification: (tac·it cul·ture)

Usage Notes

  • Plural: tacit cultures
  • A type of culture.
  • Tacit culture is contrasted to explicit culture.
  • Edward T. Hall (1914–2009) developed the concept of tacit culture and proxemics. Hall studied the distances between people during conversations as an example of tacit culture. Hall also coined the term proxemics, which is the study of space during interpersonal communication.

Additional Information

Related Terms


Cite the Definition of Tacit Culture

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “tacit culture.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved October 16, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/tacit-culture/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

tacit culture. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/tacit-culture/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “tacit culture.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed October 16, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/tacit-culture/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“tacit culture.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 16 Oct. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/tacit-culture/>.