Caribbean Studies Caribbean society and culture


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Caribbean Studies Caribbean society and culture

  1. 1. Caribbean Society and Culture The “social” is the totality of explanations describing how people interact and make meaning of their experiences It includes the variety of perspectives and explanations that people have for some phenomena and the tendency to prefer order and precision as well as a safer feeling when definitions are used The term “social” is a construct – a construct is a label given to some idea or way of thinking that people use in order to better explain and describe social life Society is a collection of people living in the same area over time Society is a group which shares a common purpose that structures their relationships and interactions Society is an ideal which people are striving to achieve; it is dynamic and one cannot say that one has achieved it yet Culture is the way of life of a people The view that people hold tend to come from their social location The social world comprises of many kinds of groups where one holds multiple memberships which means that belonging to a group often means that one has to identify with certain views that the group has of social life and this describes one’s social location Slight history of current society The Renaissance brought about renewed interest in the arts, learning and the possibilities of mankind which caused rapid social change within social life in Europe during the 17th and 18th century During this era strides were made in knowledge which facilitated inventions and discoveries that enabled people to live a better life – known as the Age of Enlightenment Next came the Industrial Revolution which dealt with the manufacturing age; goods and services were cheaper and more widespread Engineering breakthroughs led to the production of a large scale in shipping, railroads, rods, canal construction etc Agrarian Revolution led to food being produce in bulk for the urban industrial centers The social world was being and still is being characterized by constant change Information society – term used today describing a society where maximum use is made of information and communication technologies (ICT) Groups in society employ the technologies to lead lives of utmost efficiency and enjoyment
  2. 2. Thus the term is saying that the ways in which information is managed, stored and communicated deeply influence and permeate the whole society making it different from 10 years ago Digital Divide – term used to call attention to the different relationships that the haves (computer savvy) and the have-nots experience in society Learning Society- a society that actively promotes and enhances learning. Sociology- the study of society therefore, it attempts to distinguish between society and culture and to specify the relationship between the two. Social Structure- reference to the organized patterns, arguments and interactions between groups who comprise the various sex institutions and organizations. E.g. of Soc. Inst. - Religion Economy Politics Education Health E.g. of Soc. Org. - Churches Labour market Political Parties Schools Patterns of behaviour describe how members with different roles interact with each other. Functionalist and stability. View society structure as working in such a way as to ensure peace - The structures that organize relationships and interactions make certain that the collective will of members is satisfied. - Undesirable behaviours are discouraged through society structures such as laws, norms, rules, roles, values and sanctions. - The process of socialization and education are the major ways through which respect for the laws and norms are taught.
  3. 3. The Functionalist View of Society Education (roles, norms, laws, sanctions) Religion (roles etc.) Economy roles etc . Politics (roles etc.) Family (roles etc.)
  4. 4. The Marxist View of Society Religion Education Family Politics The Economy (Economic base or substructure) Marxist – understood social structure but not in agreement with peace and harmony. Structures in the capitalist society are enabling for the wealthy and not the poorer groups. Because the economic structure dominates interaction and relationships, the interests of the elites are always taken care of. The process of socialization and education support the inequalities.