NLP Master & Coach

Anthropology & Culture Blog

What is Culture?

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When you hear the word Culture you instantly think about arts, museums, movies, food, fashion and let me tell you: You are right! This is called Surface Culture and it consists of everything that can be easily recognized by our touch, taste, smell and hearing. It is explicitly learnt, it’s a conscious process and it can be changeable throughout time based on influences within or outside your own culture. 

Now you might wonder if there is a Surface Culture there definitely must be a Deep Culture.  It is implicitly learnt, in an unconscious way, it is very difficult to change and it’s transmitted throughout generations. It is highly subjectable knowledge and the style of doing things in your own way. Deep Culture incorporates how we view the world as it is and why we’ve formed a specific perception throughout our experiences. Some common subjects can be religion, beliefs, decision-making, leadership, power, justice, time, body language, personal space, friendship just to name a few of them. It shows us how we communicate and what does it imply beyond our words. Deep Culture is much more than the representation of a tradition, a movie or a stereotype in form of a product. It is the core of our mentalities and behaviors. 

In 1976 Edward T. Hall suggested that culture can resemble an actual iceberg where the tip of it represents the Surface Culture which is only 10% and Deep Culture is the rest of 90% of our iceberg. 

When we first interact with a culture we usually are exposed only to the tip of the iceberg. We see the surface of traditions, rituals, forms of art and beauty. If we really want to be knowledgeable about a culture we have to invest time and intentional curiosity, we have to understand what are its core values, beliefs, attitudes, priorities and assumptions regarding daily life and its course. 

Culture is a combination between Surface and Deep Culture. It represents our internal world and the artifacts that we leave behind us. Culture is life itself.

 

So there it is, hope I have answered some of your questions. Leave a comment or message me for more. 

Stay curious, 

Renata 

 

📷 Photo by  Clem Onojeghuo on  Unsplash

 

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