Iceberg model; figure 2.1. Surface-level culture: popular culture Intermediate-level culture: symbols, meanings and norms Deep level culture: traditions, beliefs, and values
Discussion questions Using the iceberg metaphor, how can we go from the surface-level understandings of a culture to deeper layers? If all you know about a culture are things such as their popular celebrities, music, and forms of entertainment, what can you do to get to know that culture at a deeper level?
Surface-level culture Popular culture refers to cultural artifacts or systems that have mass appeal and that infiltrate our daily life. U.S popular culture for instance is U.S films, television shows, pop music and icons such as McDonalds, Coca Cola and Nike. We need to remember individuals on the global level form images of another culture based on surface-level information.
Discussion Questions Can you give example of current U.S. popular culture icons that are different from the ones listed in the text book? Can you give examples of popular culture images from another country with which you are somewhat familiar? How similar do you think individual from that country is to these popular images?
Intermediate-level culture Symbols, meanings and norms –Symbol: gesture, sign, word(s), artifact etc. –Meanings: interpretations attached to a symbol –Cultural Norms: collective expectations of proper/improper behavior –Setting: cultural or physical context
Continued Symbols, meanings and norms –Interaction goal: objective of meeting –Relational expectations: how much role formality/informality, what social tone is present –Cultural competence: cultural knowledge you have and how you use it
Discussion questions How would you introduce yourself to : –Your romantic partners parents? –Your friends elementary-age sister? –A new study group member?
Deep-level culture Traditions, beliefs and values –Normative culture: way of living by a group of interacting individuals who share a common history, traditions, values etc. –Subjective culture: refers to the individuals and members of a culture attach different degrees of importance to values and beliefs.
Traditions Culturally shared traditions can include myths, legends, ceremonies, and rituals passed on from one generation to the next via oral or written medium Traditions reinforce in-group solidarity, cultural stability, continuing functions.
Discussion questions What some common U.S. traditions? How would you explain them to a visitor from another culture unfamiliar with U.S. cultural traditions?
Beliefs Culturally shared beliefs refer to fundamental assumptions or worldviews that people hold without question These beliefs can revolve around questions as to human origins, concepts of time, space, reality, the existence of supernatural being and so on.
Values Cultural values refer to priorities that guide good or bad behavior, fair or unfair actions. Instrumental values are process values that serves as a guidelines (ex. behaving politely, acting with self-discipline, acting responsibly). Terminal values refer to end goals or preferable end results (ex. Life with social recognition, sense of accomplishment, an adventurous life).