In 1976, Edward T. Hall developed the cultural iceberg model. The ‘iceberg’ model of culture uses the metaphor of the iceberg to make the complex concept of culture easier to understand.
- Like an iceberg, only the ‘tip’ of culture is visible (observable) to the eye
- while the bulk of what makes up cultural identity is submerged (unobservable).
This framework can be used to explain the concept of your culture to readers. For example: which factors influence a person's observable behaviours and practices?
If you'd like to know more, the Worldbuilding Magazine did a podcast on The Iceberg Principle (S22 E03) in May 2020.
Update (16 June 2020): a cleaner designed iceberg was published on Reddit, with some changes to the framework.