Examining Culture through “Icebergs”
Have you ever thought of an iceberg to be more than a sheet of rock floating in an artic sea? According to the theory of cultural icebergs’, icebergs have much more meaning in the analysis of humans and their own cultural values and beliefs. Culture can be defined by what it is not; meaning one culture sees another cultures culture by the differences in the two. A cultural iceberg takes all of the things that makes up a certain culture and organizes them into two separate categories the surface culture (or folk culture), which is the top section of the theoretical iceberg, is defined by cultural values that are easily noticeable and seen in the everyday life of a particular culture. The other section, also the wider ranging section, of a cultural iceberg is the lower half or the “deep” culture. Deep culture is defined as cultural aspects that are not inherently visible from the surface, in order to see and understand these values, beliefs or traditions one must look further into the culture being analyzed. The two cultures that are to be examined in this essay are the cultural values of Chicago Illinois and the cultural values of Malaga Spain. Having first hand experience of both cultures albeit in Malaga for only two months there are significant differences in the day-to-day experience in each of these cities. Starting with the top of the iceberg one can examine the differences in cooking, dress and perhaps the most obvious language. In the bottom section of the iceberg I will analyze differences in personal special limits, family interaction and privacy, and finally the overall pace of daily life through out a day focusing on the Spanish “siesta” and the high paced “rush hour” of a day in Chicago. Finally using the outlined structure of the differences culturally between the two cities I will examine what I believe the hardest parts of Chicago’s culture to adapt to from a Malaguetan’s perspective. First we must start by...
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