2 Some definitions Culture as Knowledge “Culture is the acquired knowledge people use to interpret experience and generate behavior.” -- James Spradley,l anthropologistA word that means several different thingsNational / ethnic culture (meanings and behaviors groups of people develop and share over time)Secondary or subgroup culture
3 Elements of Culture HISTORY RELIGION VALUES SOCIAL ORGANIZATION LANGUAGE
4 Characteristics of Culture CULTURE IS LEARNEDCULTURE IS SHAREDCULTURE IS TRANSMITTED FROM ONE GENERATION TO ANOTHERCULTURE IS BASED ON SYMBOLSCULTURE IS DYNAMICCULTURE IS AN INTEGRATED SYSTEM
5 ExerciseUsing a blank sheet of paper, begin drawing as many circles as you can think where you share meanings and behaviors with a group of people. For example:My faith groupMy work placeMy ethnic cultureMy home countryMy book groupMy family
6 Once you’ve identified some cultural circles, select one that is quite defined and make a list of some of the norms, values, and behaviors that define your cultural group. Find a partner and share your list of cultural circles. Spend time describing the one circle you selected to “unpack.” Decide whether or not you would have an easy or difficult time “entering” each other’s cultural group. Why are some more “difficult” than others?
7 Nitza Hidalgo’s Concept of Culture as an Iceberg Surface CultureSurface level (Concrete)Deep CultureUnspoken Rules (Behavioral)Unconscious Rules - SymbolicHidalgo, N Multicultural teacher introspection. In Perry, T. and Fraser, J. (Eds.) Freedom's Plow: Teaching in the Multicultural Classroom. New York: Routledge.
8 Deep Structure of Culture – Roots of Reality – the “how” and “why” Deep Structure Institutions carry a culture’s most important beliefs (family, state, religion)Deep Structure Institutions and their messages endureDeep Structure Institutions and their Messages are deeply feltDeep Structure Institutions supply much of a person’s identity (one of its most important roles for a culture is to assist a person in their sense of identity)
9 Deep Structures of Culture FAMILY – definition and forms of family (nuclear, extended), changing families in the US; mixed families.“The family is the most basic unit of government…” (Charles Colton).Functions of Family: teach socialization; core values; worldview; identity development; communication training; gender roles; individualism vs. collectivism; aging; social skillsHISTORY -- economic, social development of a region/grouping of people
10 Surface CultureFood, dress, musicvisual arts, drama, crafts, dance, literature, language, celebrations gamesDeep CultureCourtesy, contextual conversational patterns, concept of time, personal space, rules of conduct, facial expressions, nonverbal communication, body language, touching, eye contact, patterns of handling emotions, notions of modesty, concept of beauty, courtship practices, relationships to animals, notions of leadership, tempo of work, concepts of food, ideals of childrearing, theory of disease, social interaction rate, nature of friendshipstone of voice, attitudes toward elders, concept of cleanliness, notions of adolescence, patterns of group decision-making, definition of insanity, preference for competition or cooperation, tolerance of physical pain, concept of “self,” concept of past and future, definition of obscenity, attitudes toward dependents, problem-solving, roles in relation to age, sex, class, occupation, kinship, and so forth