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“Big” Culture in Small Packages: On Material Culture for Developing Cultural Awareness

  • Danuta Gabryś-Barker
Chapter
Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL, volume 36)

Abstract

Research interest in studying culture-grounded concepts such as time or space and their contribution to the development of intercultural communicative competence would be incomplete without some focus on what surrounds them, the context of our mono- and multilingual functioning. Thus, the major focus of this paper is on material culture and cultural awareness. There are two factors which bring these things together: the perception of culture as a significant element in one’s language competence (both in a monolingual and multilingual context) and the role environment plays in the development of this language competence. The artefacts of material culture are “a reflection of identity, individual and group values. These include: ideas, morals, ethics and standards.” (Aronin L, Singleton D. Multilingualism. John Benjamins Publishing Company, Amsterdam/Philadelphia, 2012, p. 170). It is also argued that rituals and events are part of material culture (ibid.). Cultural awareness partly means having some understanding of this point. The context of the present study is Portugal and its expression of material culture in relation to an important aspect of Portuguese life, that is, coffee drinking and all the culture and paraphernalia surrounding it. I would like to look at the Portuguese sugar bag, so different from any others. For instance, a typical sugar bag, say a Polish one, can seldom be treated as the expression of national culture; it is rather informative (of sugar type) or an instrument for advertising either a coffee brand or a restaurant/cafeteria.

Keywords

Culture Material culture Sugar bag Food culture Coffee drinking Values Beliefs Habits 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danuta Gabryś-Barker
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SilesiaSosnowiecPoland

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