Can I have a summary on hierarchy in Chapter 7? 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Chapter Seven is titled “The Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes.” The “hierarchy” concept is raised beginning in subchapter 7. One of the contributing factors to Korean Air’s high number of plane crashes in the 1990s was that the crew members used “mitigated speech.” Even in emergency situations, they addressed each other politely and deferred to their captains, abiding by strong cultural and administrative hierarchies. In a hierarchy, individuals in a group are arranged in a definite order by rank, grade, age, or some other kind of system. Uniformed personnel are usually trained to defer to the knowledge and experience of their top leaders, by rank. There are also cultures whose languages and customs permit much more ambiguity – with the use of highly mitigated speech and extreme politeness – than others. Some of the Asian countries have the highest tolerances for oral ambiguity in the world. These factors combined dangerously for Korean Air. Even when lower-ranked crew members saw potentials for life-threatening circumstances, they didn’t feel free to mention the problems to any higher-ranked officers. The airline’s solution was to teach English to its personnel and to conduct all communication in English, using individual first names instead of rank. These changes allowed everyone the freedom to leave behind their perceived hierarchies. They could be direct and honest, which are necessary features involved when flying planes over mountainous terrain.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial