Culture~ communication ver1

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Culture~ communication ver1

  1. 1. Culture~ Communication Ver1.0 Learning With Krishnamurthy Prabhakar 0.0.0
  2. 2. Topic Assigned to Me • Society and Communication.
  3. 3. Learning Sessions and Safe Port • There are four sessions with each session ~ 90 minutes. • You are welcome to learn with me I am just multiple zeros 0.0.0 (my educational qualifications and me are multiplicative to ensure that I always get zero ) • I do not think that you need to take notes, as I do not carry a note book to see Blood Diamonds or In Pursuit of Happiness or Enthiran . (debate?) • All required reading material will be sent to you through the googlegroups~ societyandcommunication@googlegroups.com • Listen, learn and take it to your mind and heart if you are convinced about the arguments~ to be unconsciously competent~ practice (How?) • Debate my assertions~ thoughts~ musings ~ rambling.
  4. 4. Evaluation • For every sessions you need to write an assignment, which can be submitted online. • Approximately ten hours of reading and five hours of assignment work need to be spent by the student to understand the basic concepts and earn the grades. • The grading policy.
  5. 5. Some Questions~ How Do We Proceed? • From which perspective should we study human communication? 1. Biological 2. Sociological 3. Anthropological 4. Psychological 5. Linguistic, historical, political or economic? 6. Bio-socio- anthrop- psycho- linguist perspective as one of my student has suggested. If this perspective exists, how to go about it?
  6. 6. Learning Tips~ Based on Neurobiology •What? •How? •Why?
  7. 7. The Word CULTURE • Culture (from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning "to cultivate") • The word culture originates in middle English (”a cultivated piece of land”) from the French word culture and from the Latin verb culturare (”to cultivate”). • All versions of the word ultimately come from the early Latin colere (”to till or cultivate the ground”). • A review of overarching themes and patterns in definitions of culture in various disciplines might be beneficial to our understanding of culture.
  8. 8. Culture Definition- The Beginning • Sir Edward Burnett Tylor(1871) defines culture “as a complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society” or ~ learned behaviour.
  9. 9. Elaboration • Therefore it is “socially patterned human behaviour and thought”. This definition means that humans will predictably act in certain ways in certain situations. For example, when humans come in contact they will greet each other. • Behaviour that is received from society~ part of an individual’s habit~ learned behaviour~ social interaction.
  10. 10. Two aspects of culture • Objective and concrete~ Technology, instruments, hunting, system of agriculture and industry or what man has made. • Internal and abstract~ Ideas and emotions such as knowledge, art, customs, belief and law or system of meanings. It can be norms and values.
  11. 11. Cultural Categories • The first inventory of cultural categories was undertaken in 1872 by a committee of the British Association for the Advancement of Science with help of Taylor(1872). • It had seventy six culture topics~637subdivisions~ cultural universes. • One of the example is Food Quest with subdivisions such as collecting, hunting and fishing. It is still in use.
  12. 12. Kroeber and Kluckhon (1952) • Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievement of human groups, including their embodiment in artifacts ( both i and e are acceptable and include ecofact); the essential core of culture consists of traditional (i.e. historically derived and selected) ideas and especially their attached values; culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, on the other as conditioning elements of further action.
  13. 13. Key words • Patterns • Explicit or implicit • Of and for behaviour • Acquired and transmitted by symbols • distinctive achievements of human kind +artifacts • Tradition and its attached values • products of action • conditioning elements of further action
  14. 14. Cultural Artifact • A cultural artifact is a term used in sociology or in social sciences and for things created by humans which gives information about the culture of its creator and users. • Cultural artifact can provide knowledge about technological processes, economy and social makeup, and a host of other subjects~ • The disappearing Indian farmer ( for every three hours 50 farmers commit suicide in our country)
  15. 15. Learning 1 • What is the difference between the definition of Taylor and Kroeber and Kluckhon ?
  16. 16. Conceptual Clarity • Taylor defined culture as “the learned behavior.” • However, Kroeber and Kluckhohn argued that the concept of culture is based on the study of behavior and behavioral products. • culture cannot be conceptualized as only the behavior or the investigation of behavior. Instead, part of culture consists of norms for or standards of behavior, and another part consists of ideologies justifying or rationalizing certain ways of behavior. • Every culture includes broad general principles of selectivity and ordering about behavior.
  17. 17. Aspects of Culture • Biological~ Human biological traits and requirement~ Eyes, ears, tongue, nose, mouth • Ecological~ Physical environment and settlements~ transportation~ living • Social~ biological and ecological tend to remain the same. Interaction, needs, capacity to learn and social influences of invention and expansion. • Economic~ Class
  18. 18. Theories of Culture • Evolutionist~ culture moves towards differentiated conditions-instruments, rites, rituals, development of communities and system of production. Marx argued the transition tribal, ancient, feudal, and capitalist- and that the present capitalist mode of production is bound to be superseded by the socialist mode of production. What is at present we have is CAPITALISM 3.0. • Functionalist~ how agglomerates and elements of society function; Marriage, economic institutions, police etc. • Expansionist~ special elements of culture develop at a particular place and expand to other places,e.g Buddism.
  19. 19. Seven Clusters Of Definition Of Culture 1. Structure/pattern: Definitions that look at culture in terms of a system or framework of elements (e.g., ideas, behavior, symbols, or any combination of these or other elements) 2. Function: Definitions that see culture as a tool for achieving some end 3. Process: Definitions that focus on the ongoing social construction of culture 4. Product: Definitions of culture in terms of artifacts (with or without deliberate symbolic intent) 5. Refinement: Definitions that frame culture as a sense of individual or group cultivation to higher intellect or morality 6. Power or ideology: Definitions that focus on group-based power (including postmodern and postcolonial definitions) 7. Group membership: Definitions that speak of culture in terms of a place or group of people, or that focus on belonging to such a place or group
  20. 20. John Bodley (1994): Diverse Definitions (http://www.wsu.edu/gened/learn-modules/top_culture/culture- definitions/bodley-text.html) Culture consists of everything on a list of topics, or categories, such as Topical: social organization, religion, or economy Culture is social heritage, or tradition, that is passed on to future Historical: generations Behavioral: Culture is shared, learned human behavior, a way of life Normative: Culture is ideals, values, or rules for living Culture is the way humans solve problems of adapting to the environment Functional: or living together Culture is a complex of ideas, or learned habits, that inhibit impulses and Mental: distinguish people from animals Structural: Culture consists of patterned and interrelated ideas, symbols, or behaviors Culture is based on arbitrarily assigned meanings that are shared by a Symbolic: society
  21. 21. Some aspects of culture~ how we are different from animals? • The shared aspect of culture means that it is a social phenomenon; idiosyncratic behavior is not cultural. • Culture is learned, not biologically inherited, and involves arbitrarily assigned, symbolic meanings. • The human ability to assign arbitrary meaning to any object, behavior or condition makes people creative and readily distinguishes culture from animal behavior. • People can teach animals to respond to cultural symbols, but animals do not create their own symbols. Furthermore, animals have the capability of limited tool manufacture and use, but human tool use is extensive enough to rank as qualitatively different and human tools often carry heavy symbolic meanings. • The symbolic element of human language, especially speech, is again a vast qualitative expansion over animal communication systems. • Speech is infinitely more productive and allows people to communicate about things that are remote in time and space
  22. 22. Culture Has to Be Explained by Itself • The cross-generational aspect of culture has led some anthropologists, especially Kroeber (1917) and Leslie White (1949), to treat culture as a super organic entity, existing beyond its individual human carriers. • Individuals are born into and are shaped by a pre- existing culture that continues to exist after they die. Kroeber and White argued that the influence that specific individuals might have over culture would itself be largely determined by culture. Thus culture exists as a different order of phenomena that can best be explained in terms of itself.
  23. 23. Cultural Change~ Two Processes • Innovation- Primary innovations are to get away from struggle for existence- secondary innovations make life more comfortable~ it is based on man’s creative intelligence. Indian Jugaad. • Expansion-When one society learns, adopt, adapt, borrows from other society. This leads to culturization. • How many accredited journalists cover fashion show in India and for how long? 512 for one week. Valentines day, Mothers day, Women Friendship day.
  24. 24. Cultural Lag • Culture keeps changing as a function of time. Material things change compared to non material things.
  25. 25. Causes for Human Pain-1800 to1900 • Karl Marx wrote about alienation, as the effect of the separation between the worker and the product of his labour under capitalist labour relations. • Durkheim, in turn, was concerned with anomie, a pathological -and, thus, temporary- characteristic of societies in which the division of labor does not evolve naturally, but may be forced by unequal social relations among classes. • Max Weber was preoccupied with the fall of substantial rationality as a logical outcome of the process of rationalization in the modern world. • Sigmund Freud, in turn, identified neurosis as the malady of the modern times.
  26. 26. How These Are Related to Us?
  27. 27. Summary
  28. 28. Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis (http://www.angelfire.com/journal/worldtour99/sapirwhorf.html ) • Sapir (1921): “Human beings do not live in the objective world alone, nor alone in the world of social activity as ordinarily understood, but are very much at the mercy of the particular language which has become the medium of expression in that society.”
  29. 29. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis • It theorizes that thoughts and behavior are determined (or are at least partially influenced) by language. • Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf brought attention to the relationship between language, thought, and culture. Two main ideas can be discerned. • A theory of linguistic determinism that states that the language you speak determines the way that you will interpret the world around you. • A weaker theory of linguistic relativism states that language merely influences your thoughts about the real world.
  30. 30. Humboldt’s Work • Humboldt wrote in Gesammelte Werke a strong version of linguistic determinism: • "Man lives in the world about him principally, indeed exclusively, as language presents it to him.” • Sapir took this idea after one hundred years and expanded on it. Although he did not always support this firm hypothesis, his writings state that there is clearly a connection between language and thought.
  31. 31. Quote That Emphasize Language • From "The Status of Linguistics as a Science" (1929) Human beings do not live in the objective world alone, nor alone in the world of social activity as ordinarily understood, but are very much at the mercy of the particular language which has become the medium of expression in their society. • It is quite an illusion to imagine that one adjusts to reality essentially without the use of language and that language is merely an incidental means of solving specific problems of communication or reflection: The fact of the matter is that the ‘real world' is to a large extent unconsciously built up on the language habits of the group. • No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality. The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached. • Simple acts of perception are very much more at the mercy of the social patterns called words than we might suppose. We see and hear and otherwise experience very largely as we do because the language habits of our community predispose certain choices of interpretation.
  32. 32. Sapir Thoughts • Sapir used firm language to describe this connection between language and thought. To Sapir, the individual is unconscious to this connection and subject to it without choice. Whorf devised the weaker theory of linguistic relativity. • "We are thus introduced to a new principle of relativity, which holds that all observers are not led by the same physical evidence to the same picture of the universe..." (1940/1956). • He also supported, at times, the stronger linguistic determinism. To Whorf, this connection between language and thought was also an obligation not a choice.
  33. 33. … • As a result of differences in language, people in different cultures will think about, perceive, and behave toward the world differently. • Reality itself is already embedded in language and therefore comes preformed. • Language determines, enabling and constraining, what is perceived and attended to in a culture, as well as the upper limits of knowledge.
  34. 34. Learning Summary • What of Culture • We learnt definition of culture from communication perspective. • Examined two definitions. • How of Culture • We examined the how it is related to communication.
  35. 35. End of Session 1

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