Cultural analysis of the Finnish Sauna and American Football
The cultural metaphors of the American Football and Finnish Sauna were collaborated for various purposes and in this exercise we would analyze the Cultural analysis of the Finnish Sauna and American Football where we would analyze the differences we would expect in the functioning of Finnish versus American work teams. Cultural Analysis provides a wider base for people coming from different cultures to understand and embrace new cultures and the differences which might exist in their ways of life. They function as real – life experiences which can provide a deeper insight in the cultural differences and its related contexts (Gannon, Martin J. and Piilai, Rajnandini . nd).
In order to understand a specific culture a person has to understand and analyze their own culture and values. They should analyze any specific differences which might exist in the process. In this article we would analyze the differences we would expect in the functioning of Finnish versus American work teams. Most of the Americans and the Europeans would not understand the differences between these factors however the Finns have a unique aspect associated with their thoughts when it comes to Sauna. For them it is as sacred as a Church and on the other hand for the Americans it could provoke unacceptable thoughts. In Finesse culture even the small Apartments were fixed with little Saunas and this gives us an understanding as to how important they could be.
Understanding of some of the metaphors as well could be difficult for some cultures like the Finns had a difficulty in understanding the Football. There could be other factors which might look similar to the American culture and the Football Metaphor is the emphasis on Individualism. When a game is played it is the complete team which is involved and the individual players are praised when they do a good job on the field. Here comes the factor of success. The Losing teams are always forgotten until they regain their winning ability and win some games.
American Culture - Recognition is the main factor which helps them grow as it basically leads to motivating them to the core and this provides them a major boost to realize the importance of the game and play with a winning spirit. When the football players do something great or when they play extra ordinarily well they stand out in the competition and they get noticed and ultimately they get the hall of fame when they are made to stand out in the crowd (Gannon, Martin J. and Piilai, Rajnandini. Nd). Their contribution to the game is really talked about and this is what the American culture looks like.
As we have discussed that in order to understand a specific culture a person has to understand and analyze their own culture and values the same holds good in this cultural aspect as well. Various cultures get emphasized in different ways in different cultures. One of the main aspect - Finnish Sauna is a social event like the American football, but in the Finnish sauna everybody is equal and it’s essential that no one is above the others. This aspect is related to the underlying values within the culture. Finns have a unique attribute where they tend to appreciate social equality where Americans seem to value individual effort and success. Also the American football event is more loud and cheerful while Finns usually calm down and try to relax in the sauna.
The two metaphors which we are discussing here and which are termed as The American Football metaphor and the Finnish Sauna metaphor have their own distinct attributes associated with them where they are two great metaphors to enhance our cultural understanding . Most of the times these metaphors describe how our cultural behavior can be seen through important event or place where they can be used in different cases and sometimes in opposite scenarios as well.
The first one – the American football metaphor emphasizes competing individuals with each other and those who prevent any occurrence of issues and work together to achieve victory where on the other hand in the case of Finnish Sauna metaphor emphasizes peace, privacy, nature and equality (Gannon, M. J. 2004).
The main focus of these aspects is that if we don’t understand US Football we don’t understand the US Culture and the ways in which their business is conducted whereas the Finns on the other hand live at harmony with the nature and a changing political reality because of their Geographic location. Finland’s main strength is its people who can understand and embrace anything within limits and whenever possible (Carbaugh, D., Berry, M., & Nurmikari-Berry, M. 2006).
Gannon, Martin J. and Piilai, Rajnandini "The Finnish sauna" Undestanding global cultures: metaphorical journeys through 29 nations, clusters of nations, continents, and diversity. 4t7 ed. Los Angeles, Calif.: SAGE, 2010. 153-167. ISBN: 1412957893 MASON FSU11090909.pdf
Gannon, Martin J. and Pillai, Rajnandini "American football". Understanding global cultures: metaphorical journeys through 29 nations clusters of nations continents and diversit . Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 2010. 249-272 ISBN: 978142957892 MASON AFU 140851110. Pdf
Carbaugh, D., Berry, M., & Nurmikari-Berry, M. (2006). Coding personhood through cultural terms and practices: Silence and quietude as a Finnish “Natural Way of Being”. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 25, 203-220.
Gannon, M. J. (2004). Understanding global cultures: Metaphorical journeys through 28 nations, clusters of nations, and continents (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture's Consequences - International Differences in work-related values. California: Sage.
Köhler, T., & Berry, M. (2008). Creating synergy for inter-cultural learning. In J. Salmons & L. Wilson (Eds.), Handbook of research on electronic collaboration and organizational synergy (pp. 142-158). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference