Defining Culture

Topics: Sociology, Culture, Extended family Pages: 1 (668 words) Published: October 30, 2014

Defining Culture
Q1. Explain the difference between surface culture and deep culture. Give examples from your own culture. Which do you think is more challenging to cope with as a foreigner? Why? Surface culture is essentially the cultural norms you can easily identify in a foreign country such as food and dressing. On the other hand, deep culture are the cultural norms that are not easily detected unless, you are born and raised in that specific culture, or you spend an extended amount of time in the foreign culture. Examples of deep culture would be rules, attitudes and feelings that are passed down from generation to generation. In my culture, the right hand is preferred for most of the social exchanges like shaking hands, giving cash during sales transactions, receiving or giving gifts. To use the left hand during social exchanges is considered rude because it is used for the bathroom, so it is deem “unclean” and “unfit” to use on people. In my opinion, deep culture poses more challenge for a foreigner because it is not so easily noticeable and the foreigner may unknowingly violate a cultural rule. There may be disappointment, embarrassment, laughter, or even anger that the foreigner may sense coming from the locals due to the violation of the deep culture.

Q2. You are waiting for a bus in a foreign country for the first time. You notice there is no line as you´ve experienced many times in other countries. The bus arrives and everyone seems to just jam themselves onto it. Finally, you also manage to get yourself on although you have to stand. What assumptions can you make about this culture regarding standing in line? How is it different from in your country? How will it affect your stay in this culture? What survival strategies will you develop? Would you find yourself making any judgments about this culture because of this? Should you make any judgments? I think it is fair to assume that the people of this country do not observe the queue culture....
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