Metaphors of Culture
“Metaphors of Culture” can help us describe the complex, interdisciplinary concept of culture. Some metaphors are popular, like the Iceberg-Model. There are a lot of further models that are used in the field of intercultural communication. Culture involves so many features, approaches and understandings.
How would you explain “culture” to an intercultural beginner?
- As a system: relations, values and behaviors?
- As functions: defining communication standards, norms and a collective mind?
- As a process: the creation of cultural constructs and cultural identity?
Culture as Relationship?
But culture is also, what we expect, reinforce and reward, a relationship between
- the expected behavior,
- the cognitive judgement and
- the emotion that unexpected behavior generates in an observer.
Metaphors of Culture – “Observing” Models?
Explaining culture with the Iceberg-Model shows how less we can observe. Most things happen on cognitive and emotional level – on a level where we are not aware of any functions, processes and systems – values, stereotypes, prejudices, generalizations or judgements.
Another Metaphors of Culture? Culture As…
- a screen, from which we get information of the world? What do we pay attention to and what not?
- a program, like a software of the mind?
- a glass dome? We cannot see the glass, but it separates us from another and creates a wall.
- a separated island in a big ocean?
Any other explanation?
Mostly culture would be about restrictions – what is supposed NOT to be done!
??? just thinking…