Defining Culture

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Defining Culture

  1. 1. Defining Culture<br />This lecture comes from the text:<br />Understanding Intercultural Communication (2005)<br />Written by Stella Ting-Toomey and Leeva C. Chung<br />
  2. 2. BACK To THE ROOT<br />The word “Culture” comes from the Latin term cultura or cultus, such as agriculture.<br />Freilich(1989, p.2) described culture this way, Culture comes from the “root meaning of an activity, culture became transformed into a condition, a state of being cultivated.”<br />
  3. 3. What does it mean to be “cultivated?”<br /> “To be a ‘cultivated’ member of a cultural community, the implication is that you understand what it means to be a ‘desirable and ideal’ member of that particular system or group” (p. 27).<br />
  4. 4. Culture is. . .<br /> Culture is a learned system of meanings—a value-laden system of meaning which help you make sense of the world and your existence within the world.<br />It fosters a shared sense of identity. Creating:<br /><ul><li>Ingroups</li></ul>and<br /><ul><li>Outgroups</li></li></ul><li>Culture Defined<br />Culture is defined “as a learned meaning system that consists of patterns of traditions, beliefs, values, norms, meanings and symbols. . .shared to varying degrees by interacting members of the community” (p. 28)<br />
  5. 5. Given our definition, what are some examples of culture(s)?<br />
  6. 6. Culture: an iceberg metaphor<br />Surface-Level Culture: Popular Culture<br />Intermediate-Level Culture:<br />Symbols, Meanings & Norms<br />Deep-Level Culture:<br />Traditions, Beliefs & Values<br />Universal Human Needs<br />
  7. 7. The surface: pop culture<br />For better or for worse, we learn about other cultures through Pop Culture artifacts.<br />WAKA WAKA<br />What do we learn about “African” culture from this video?<br />
  8. 8. The surface: pop culture<br /> “Popular culture basically refers to cultural artifacts or systems that have mass appeal and that infiltrate our daily life” (p. 29).<br />
  9. 9. The surface: pop culture<br />Popular images as portrayed in television, film, advertising, pop music, and even comic strips reinforce cultural and gender ideologies in society. . .then we export them.<br />What are your favorite Television Shows? Why?<br />
  10. 10. The surface: pop culture<br />Some forms of popular culture have a direct correlation with the cultures' underlying values and norms, but other forms of popular culture have been created for sheer entertainment.<br />
  11. 11. The surface: pop culture<br />Pop Culture is directly connected to economics.<br />A LITERAL EXAMPLE:<br />
  12. 12. The surface: pop culture<br />How authentic are the pop culture images we encounter?<br />
  13. 13. Diving Down: Cultural symbols, meanings & NOrms<br />Symbol: is a sign, artifact, word(s), gesture, or nonverbal behavior that stands for or reflections something meaningful.<br />
  14. 14. Diving Down: Cultural symbols, meanings & NOrms<br />Meanings: or interpretations we attach to a symbol cue both objective and subjective reactions.<br />
  15. 15. Diving Down: Cultural symbols, meanings & NOrms<br />Cultural Norms: Collective Expectations we have of what constitutes proper or improper behavior in a given interaction scene. . .this is our cultural script.<br />Sheena Iyengar<br />
  16. 16. Culture: an iceberg metaphor<br />Surface-Level Culture: Popular Culture<br />Intermediate-Level Culture:<br />Symbols, Meanings & Norms<br />Deep-Level Culture:<br />Traditions, Beliefs & Values<br />Universal Human Needs<br />
  17. 17. DEEP & DARK: Traditions, beliefs & values<br />Understanding normative culture v. subjective culture:<br />Normative Culture is the patterned way of living by a group of interacting individuals who share a common set of history, traditions, values, and interdependent fate.<br />Subjective Culture is the degree of importance culture members assign to the layers of cultural beliefs and values.<br />
  18. 18. DEEP & DARK: Traditions, beliefs & values<br />Culturally Shared Traditions<br />Healings<br />Weddings<br />Cultural shared traditions reinforce the “ingroup” solidarity, communal memory, cultural stability and continuity functions.<br />Funeral Rituals<br />
  19. 19. DEEP & DARK: Traditions, beliefs & values<br />Cultural Shared Beliefs<br />Existence<br />Reality<br />God<br />Origins<br />
  20. 20. DEEP & DARK: Traditions, beliefs & values<br />Culturally Shared Values<br />“good” and “bad”<br /> Shalom Schwarts’ (1992) research indicates that there are clear cultural value structures which reflect people’s needs, for example, benevolence. This value structure indicates how valuable a culture perceives a “deeper” meaning in life.<br />
  21. 21. DEEP & DARK: Traditions, beliefs & values<br />VALUES<br />Understanding particular cultural value dimensions and orientations, we can meaningfully link some of those patterns with different communication styles issues.<br />Values serve as guidelines and preferable modes of conduct in the pursuit of certain valued existential outcomes. These are called instrumental values.<br />Values also serve as preferable end states or goals. These are known as terminal values.<br />

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