WHAT CULTURE ISA complex whole includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, customs, and other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society (Tylor, 1871)A blueprint for living all that human beings learn to do, use, to produce, to know, and to believe (Tischler, 2002)
components of cultureMaterial Culture This consists of all thingshuman beings make and use or human technology. Used to control the environment and protect humans from it, as well.
components of cultureNonmaterial Culture -Totality of knowledge, beliefs, values, and rules for appropriate behavior. -Determined by institutions Nonmaterial culture elements are the “ideas associated with their use”
Norms“are the rules of behavior that are agreedupon and shared within a culture andthat prescribe limits of acceptablebehavior.”(Tischler, 2002)-central elements of nonmaterial culture-not absolute-define what is “normal”
The curious case ofTHE KISSkissing the cheekkissing the hand kissing in public
Norms-A society withoutnorms would be inchaos;-Social sanctions aremechanisms of socialcontrol that enforcenorms.
Mores“strongly held norms that usually have a moral connotationand are based on the central values of the culture.”
Mores -Violations of mores induce strong negative reactions and are often supported by law. -Not all norms are absolute.
Folkways “norms that permit a wide degree of individual interpretation as long as certain limits are not overstepped.” -change over time -vary from one culture to another
components of cultureCognitive Culture -consists of shared beliefs and knowledge “of what the world is like: what is real and what is not, what is important and what is trivial.” -the “thinking component of culture”
components of cultureCognitive Culture -Beliefs do not need to be true or testable, but shared -like a map that guides us through society; provides us a representation of society (Tischler, 2002)
Beliefs•Shared ideas peoplehold collectively withina culture.•orient people to theworld by providinganswers toimponderable qestions
Values“a culture’s general orientations towardlife—its notions of what is good and bad,what is desirable and undesirable.”•can provide rules for behavior, but canalso be the source of conflict.
components of cultureLanguage•makes teaching and sharing of cognitiveand nonmaterial cultures possible.•foundation “on which the complexity ofhuman thought and experience rests.•enables humans organization throughthe act of labeling
LanguageThe Shapir-Whorf Hypothesis The language one uses determines one’s own perception of reality. “We do not see the lensthrough which we look.” (Ruth Benedict, 1961)
LanguageWord Translation Direct translations are often impossible because (1) words can have a variety of meanings and(2) many words and ideas are culture bound.
Language Selectivity “a process by which some aspects of the world are viewed as important while others are virtually neglected.” Language reflects selectivity in vocabulary and grammar.
Components of culture are symbolic Symbol “is a representation of something else. It carries a particular meaning for members of a certain culture.” Meanings = arbitrary Different culture = a different meaning
Certain features of culture areEMPHASIZEDbased on its many definitions
Culture can be learnedNatureculture is not just mere instinctual behavior.Nurture and adaptationThere are habits that are shared by individual members of the group. These express their group’s culture.habits - learned by the group members; kept more or less uniform by social expectations and pressures.
Culture can be interpreted in different ways.Culture shockthe difficulty people have adjusting to a new culture that differs markedly from one they are used to.
Culture can be interpreted in different ways. Ethnocentrism People often make judgments about other cultures according to the customs and values of their own. -leads to prejudice, discrimination
Culture can be interpreted in different ways. Relativism the recognition that social groups and culture must be studied and understood in their own terms before valid comparisons can be made.
CULTURE CAN BE SHAREDThere could be distinctionsand commonality betweendifferent cultures…
SUBCULTURESThe distinctive lifestyles, values, norms, andbeliefs of certain segments of the populationwithin a society.Types of subcultures Ethnic subcultures Occupational subcultures Religious subcultures Political subcultures Geographical subcultures Social class subcultures Deviant subcultures
CULTURAL UNIVERSALScertain models or patterns that havedeveloped in all cultures to resolveproblems such as maintaining grouporganization and overcoming difficultiesoriginating in their social and naturalenvironment.
Among these universals are:• The division of labor• The incest taboo, marriage, and the family• The rites of passage• Ideology
Culture can change2 simple mechanisms responsible for cultural evolution: Innovations Diffusion
Culture can changeInnovationsany new practice or tool that becomes widely accepted in a society-It is the source of all cultural traitsCultural traitsitems of a culture such as tools, materials used, beliefs, values, and typical ways of doing things.
Culture can changeDiffusionthe movement of culture traits from one culture to anotherReformulation-marks diffusion-A trait is modified in some way so that it fits better in its new context.
Looking atCULTURE fromTHEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES
Functionalism• In every type of civilization, every custom/object/idea/belief fulfills some vital function• Anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski suggests that culture helps people meet their needs
Functionalism• Alfred Radcliffe-Brown (Structural Functionalism) – all of culture serves to support the social structure of the group. The needs of the group must first be met before the needs of the individual can be addressed.• Bronislaw Malinowski (Psychological Functionalism) – all behaviors primarily support the needs of the individual. Any support to the social structure as a whole merely grows out of those behaviors that are advantageous to an individual.
Functionalism • Pop culture –glue which holds society together • can undermine core values
FunctionalismTalcott Parsonsculture = powerful force in society• internalized by individual members• motivates their actions• Culture determines our own personal moral codes and how we behave.
FunctionalismSocieties where people share a common language and core values are more likelyto have consensus and harmony
Conflict Theory• Culture =ideology• a system of beliefs that distorts reality and perpetuates the inequalities produced by the economic system.• manipulates people into believing that the system is fair to everyone while really benefiting the wealthy elites.
VALUES & NORMS help create and sustain the privileged position of the powerful
Conflict Theory• Belief that pop culture has become a part of North American capitalist economy – Ex. Disney creates pop culture, such as films, TV shows and Amusement parks• Creating new popular culture also promotes consumption of commodities – Ex. Park-goers at Disneyland spend as much money on merchandise (hats, t- shirts…) as they do on admission tickets.
Conflict Theory High culture the culture of an elite such as the aristocracy or intelligentsia
Conflict Theory• Low culture – a term for some forms of popular culture – This means everything in society that has mass appeal
Postmodernism• past ways of looking at culture are insufficient and biased. They feel that most examinations of culture have been Eurocentric,• Eurocentric - focused primarily on the assumption that Western culture is the culture by which other cultures should be measured
Postmodernism• Western thinkers are unconsciously biased by their common cultural assumptions, social structures, and histories.• “Normal” Europeans vs. “deviant” non- Europeans• We should talk about cultures rather than culture
Postmodernism• We cant judge other cultures, because our reality is different from theirs• No one authority can truly know social reality, and• Existing beliefs and theories about culture need to be de-constructed (taken apart and examined) in order to gain new insights
Postmodernism• Cultural Commodification – Basically , packaging culture for sale - e.g. establishment of a value (in terms of labor or real monetary value) for any number of markets. – Making culture into a commodity.
Postmodernism• Baudrillard’s insights: – Significant exposure to the media produces a false sense of social reality – Media creates in us “hyper-reality”• Simulation of reality is more real to us than the phenomena themselves
Symbolic Interactionism• Our culture’s values and norms do not automatically determine our behavior• We re-interpret values and norms with each situation we come across.• Values and norms are dynamic--we are constantly changing them.
Symbolic Interactionism• Georg Simmel suggested that eventually culture takes on a life of its own – and begins to control us instead. • $ = started as a means of exchange • $ = end in itself • Even people have a relative “worth” applied to them: – Bill Gates – $46 billion – Oprah Winfrey - $1.5 billion
Global Culture & Cultural Hybridization• Global Culture – Refers to the globalization of culture rather than to the constitution of a single integrated culture• Cultural Hybridization – the process by which cultures around the world adopt a certain degree of homogenized global culture while clinging to aspects of their own traditional culture
ReferencesHowStuffWorks. (n.d.). Importance of Biodiversity. Retrieved February 2, 2012, from Curiosity Online: http://curiosity.discovery.com/question/what- is-cultural-hybridizationIB Cultural Anthropology/The Nature of Culture/Functionalism. (n.d.). Retrieved February 2, 2012, from http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/IB_Cultural_Anthropology/The_Nature_of_Cu lture/FunctionalismMonnier, M. (2011). Theoretical Analysis of Culture. Retrieved February 2, 2012, from https://globalsociology.pbworks.com/w/page/14711293/Theoretical%20An alysis%20of%20CultureNash, K. (2000). Contemporary Political Sociology: Globalization, Politics, and Power [Electronic version]. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.Sociological Perspectives: Analysis of Culture. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2012, from http://hrsbstaff.ednet.ns.ca/ldownie/Sociological%20Perspectives%20Anal ysis%20of%20Culture.pdfTischler, H. (2002). Introduction to Sociology, 7th ed. Fort Worth: The Harcourt Press.