Cultural Metaphors

Topics: United States, Culture, Multiculturalism Pages: 3 (918 words) Published: April 16, 2007
Cultural Metaphors
Culture is a behavior that consists of several critical elements, such as language, religion, race and ethnicity, clothing and politics. Culture is what one does in his/her daily life. In order to understand others, we must first keep in mind that every culture carries its own set of values and assumptions. Culture is an evolving, ever changing civilization, which includes several different groups of people. For immigrants, America is a land of opportunity; for others it is just the best country in the world because of its economic success and/or its democratic political system. Americans usually value independence a lot, believe in equal opportunity, and have a direct communication style. In exploring the future American society, specifically regarding relationships among various communities of racial, ethnic, and others we are groping for an image. Some hold on to the notion of a melting pot, others believe we have become mosaic like, there is the fruit salad metaphor and there is also the tributaries metaphor.

The melting pot is a metaphor for the way in which homogeneous societies develop, which the ingredients in the pot (people of different cultures and religions) are combined so as to lose their discrete identities to some degree, yielding a final product which has a more uniform consistency and flavor, and which is quite different from the original inputs. It is the same no matter where you dip. The melting pot has become a notion as a fundamental trait of American nationalism. An advantage of the melting pot is that every one around you is accustomed to the same beliefs and traditions essentially, so most people imagined that all these different cultures that are being poured into a giant pot called America, and are being heated at a low boil to mold into one kind of person. This could also be seen as a disadvantage because you don't see any change or difference. You expect the same behaviors and actions to be alike.

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