SOCIOLOGY &CULTURE(SOSIYOLOJE NDI CHIKHALIDWE)WITHBRO. CHIMWEMWE MASINA
WHAT IS SOCIOLOGY(SOSIYOLOJEN’CHANI)?Study of development, structure and functioning of society(OxfordConcise Dictionary 11th Edition)Sociology studies culture
WHAT IS CULTURE(CHIKHALIDWEN’CHANI)?Culture= distinct way of life pursued/recommended by the majority insociety within culture subcultures i.e. smaller cultures are foundMainly practiced by a small group of pple e.g. A’ level students or vendorsCulture can be material or non-materialMaterial: housing design, type of food etc.non-material: beliefs & knowledge a society hasIdentity=A counterpart of cultureDefines who we are based on our environment (society) e.g. social characteristicssuch as family name, nationality, gender etc.Helps in describing culture itself
STRUCTURALISM(ZOWUMBACHIKHALIDWE)Structuralism=society as a system made up of different parts andprocesses that work towards the ultimate goal of maximising output.Focuses on roles played by cultural institutions in shaping the society.Culture sets rules on what to do or not through:Social structures: these set rules of guiding what to be done or not thrurewards & punishmentsConsensus: this sets behaviour boundaries as to what is expected to be doneat a given time; think of distributing party uniforms at a funeral in Malawiancontext?Order and stability: the outcome of consensus & stability as people do whatthey are expected to do at a particular place & time. For example no one canasks why you are denying to steal because society doesn’t expect you to stealbut if you are found stealing that’s the birth of mutiny.
FUNCTIONS OF CULTURE(NTCHITOZACHIKHALIDWE)Some of the functions include:Communication: provides context for the development of human communicationsystems e.g. language.Perception: culture gives meaning to social situations.Identity- influences how people see themselves and others.Value systems: cultural institutions are a source of values through socializationprocessMotivation: cultural values involve punishments and rewards of which determinethe consequences of an individual’s action.Stratification: society divides people in terms of social class (economic divisions)and social rank.Production and consumption: culture defines what people need, use and valueas a survival mechanism.
COMFLICT THEORIES OF CULTUREculture divides people in societies according to social status andsocial rank the phenomena of:ELITE (HIGH) THEORIES say that contemporary(makono) societieshave competing cultural groups, each with its own particularaffiliations, products and consumption patterns. maintain that elites(Azitsogo) determine what happens in a societythough this creates division in taste, which encompasses highbrow,middlebrow and lowbrow. support that cultural products and taste are a cornerstone ofstratification systems in contemporary societies
MARXISMMARXISM- theory maintaining continuation of struggle betweenclasses within a society.It involves: Traditional Marxism (Instrumental Marxism)Neo (Humanism) Marxism, a more recent one.
POPULAR CULTUREDefinition: Culture for the masses i.e. culture for theless important ones or for the majority in a society.Influenced by:Marginalization and criticismReflexivityContinuous exposure
SOCIAL ACTIONSees human point of view as not the sameDifferent theories exist:Pluralism= which stresses competition between groups insociety and rejects mass cultureInteractionism= which looks at culture as a product ofinteraction that has purpose and meaningPostmodernism= looks at culture as global & that culturalproducts are malleable, which leads to hybridization andhence rejects culture as a tradition i.e. culture assomething that is continuously passed down generation togeneration
PLURALISMEmphasises competition between different groups in societyPlurality(diversity) of cultureTherefore denies the concept ofMass culture i.e. culture is not like what some elite theorists emphasise You can’t just say life was bad for workers in pre-industrial period than in industrial periodOnly agree with postmodernism and interactionist in terms of choice
INTERACTIONISMSees culture as a product of human interactionThat involves purpose and meaningThere is a reason for an action & if a reason exist, a meaning tooThink of a teacher and students; what does a teacher think he or she is doing whenteaching or how do students categorise the role of their teacher?Interactionism depends mainly on two human abilities:Communication and MemoryYou have to communicate and remember what you communicated to preserve cultureHumans inhabit a world of Social Construction
POSTMODERNISMSees culture globalisingMalleable and hence leads to cultural hybrids rejects culture as beingtraditionalSupports culture as loose & fluid (involves choices which are diverse &changing) as compared to structuralism
STOP!!!! END OF PRESENTATIONThank You & Keep smiling
GLOBAL CULTURELooks culture at globe level and describes it in three terms:1)Convergence and Homogenisation- differences disappearing2)Diversity and Heterogeneity: culture as constantly being turned over different from other global culture ideas3)Homogeneity and Diversity: combines ideas of points 1&2 above1)Think of business culture;2)Academic culture e.g. if business cultures try “to sell computer systems in India”,academic cultures try “ to promote feminism or environmentalism there.?What happens then at where the local & global meet?=The Particularization of Universalism & The Universalisation of Particularism
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