Culture Iceberg

                                                          Cultural Iceberg

Culture is basically a learned system of meanings, a value ladder  system ,that helps you to make sense and explain s what is going on in everyday intercultural surroundings. It fosters(encourage or promote the development of (something, typically something regarded as good). zargacnel ) a particular sense of shared identity and solidarity among its group members. It also reinforces the boundary of ‘’we’’ as an ingroup and the dissimilar ‘’others’’ as belonging to distant outgroups. Ingroups’ identity basically refers to the emotional attachment and shared fate that we attach to our selective, cultural, ethnic and social categories. Outgroups are groups from which we remain psychologically and emotionally detached and we are skeptical to their intentions. Culture is a learned meaning system that consists of patterns of traditions, norms, values, beliefs, meanings and symbols that are passed on from one generation to the next and are shared to varied degrees by interacting members of a community .

  1. Surface level culture (‘’Pop culture’’)

Culture is like an iceberg : the deeper layers (values, beliefs, traditions) are hidden from our view and we tend to see only the uppermost (amenaverin) layers of cultural artifacts ( pop music, art, fashion, cinema). On the most surface level  we often learn about other culture via  the representation of their  pop culture .Popular images as portrayed in TV, cinema, pop music , advertisements often reinforce cultural and gender ideologies of the society . It’s important to remember that all popular media are businesses that aim for mass consumption and profit. In this case US pop culture tends to dominate

the global market and represents only the surface level of  US culture. Films like ‘’Titanic‘’, ‘’Indiana Jones’’ promote adventures, romance, spirit of exploration , discoveries, images that reinforce the notion of the US as action-oriented and adventure-seeking culture. Beyond films people also receive images  via magazines ,TV shows, newspapers, radio. US exported TV shows such as ‘’Friends’’ , ’’Sex in the city’’  reinforce the stereotypic notions of the US as a free sex, drug-pron , violence -pron  and fun-seeking  culture. Furthermore icons such as McDonald’s , Disneyland, Apple, Coca-Cola  brand names in conjunction with TV shows and films are some prime pop culture examples. Pop culture is often driven by an economic industry with a targeted audience in mind( aysinqn  I skzbane npatak unen handisatesi voroshaki zangvac gravelu). Individuals consume  a particular form of pop culture as a way to be informed, entertained and included to their cultural community(CNN). Of course individuals can also resist the one-sided brainwashing effect of a particular pop culture by staying away from it. Although  having some information is better than no information, before we visit culture all of us need to remain vigilant (achalurj) questioning the sources from where we receive our ideas or images about other cultures. Sometimes we get information from second-hand sources which create our system of stereotypes (e.g. recently about Russia, Ukraine). We should remain mindful that a culture exists on multiple levels of complexity and that pop culture represents only the surface level of the imbedded  richness of culture.

 2. Intermediate culture (symbols, meanings, signs)

The symbol is a sign ,artifact, word, gesture, image ,non-verbal behavior ,brand name that stands for something meaningful. We use language as a symbolic  system which contains rich culture-based categories to organize the world around us. Expressions and proverbs  such as ‘’When there is will, there is a way‘’ US , ‘’ The nail that sticks out, gets hammered down’’ reveal smth. about that culture’s attitude toward self determination or group-value orientation (Arm’’Gex kangni,geran kkotri’’). Intercultural frictions  (clash) often arise because of the way we label and attach meanings to different expressions and behavior around us. The meanings that we attach to a symbol can cue both objective and subjective reactions. We can recognize a particular culture by its national flag because of its design and color(objective meaning). Each personality ,however, can also hold subjective meaning of what the flag means to them. It can be a sense of pride or pressure. Other symbolic meaning examples can include the use of different non-verbal gestures.(Ok sign) Cultural norms refer to the collective expectations of what constitutes proper or improper behavior in a given interaction seen(e.g. greeting patterns-bowing, shaking hands). However to enact a proper ‘’getting-acquainted’’ interaction scripts we have to take the setting, interaction goal, relationship expectations and cultural competence skills. Setting can include the consideration of cultural and physical  context .Cultural context- the interaction seen takes place in this or that notion . Physical context – university, office, restaurant. Intercultural goal refers to the objective of meeting (e.g. a job interview is quite different from a chance meeting in a cafe or in a street). The relationship expectation refers to how much role formality or informality or task or social tone you want to approach in the interaction. Cultural competence skills refer to the cultural knowledge you have internalized (yuracnel) and the operational skills you are able to apply in the communicating seen (e.g. when you don’t know how to greet). To understand the culture we need to master the operational cultural norms of this or that culture.

3. Midlevel culture(Deep-level culture)

On a communal level culture refers to a patterned way of living by a group of interacting individuals who share a common set of history, values, traditions, and even fate. This is known as a normative culture for group of individuals. On the individual level members of the culture can attach different degrees of importance to the layers of cultural beliefs , norms. It is known as subjective culture.

1.Culturally shared traditions can include ceremonies, rituals, legends that are passed from generation  to generation by oral or written form . Culturally shared traditions can include even celebrations of birth, wedding ceremonies, etc..

2.Culturally shared beliefs refer to a set of fundamental assumptions or worldviews that people hold in their heart without caution (concept of space, the existence of supernatural powers).

3.Cultural values refer to a set of priorities that guide good or bad behaviors , desirable or undesirable practices, fair or unfair actions.