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Culture
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Culture

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  • 1. Mary Queen T. Bernardo
  • 2. Lesson Outline  CULTURE  What is Culture?  The Components of Culture  Cultural Diversity  Cultural Change  Theoretical Analysis of Culture  SOCIETY
  • 3. What is Culture?  Sociologists define culture as the values, beliefs, behavior, and material objects that constitute a people’s way of life  It is a lens through which one views the world and is passed from one generation to the next.  It is what makes us human.
  • 4. Culture determines… Food we eat Clothing Music Games we play How to express emotions What is good or bad What is high or low culture (if any)
  • 5. What makes up culture? Sociologists see culture as consisting of two different categories: material culture (any physical object to which we give social meaning) and symbolic culture (the ideas associated with a cultural group).
  • 6. Material Culture Material culture includes the objects associated with a cultural group, such as tools, machines, utensils, buildings, and artwork.
  • 7. Symbolic Culture Symbolic culture includes ways of thinking (beliefs, values, and assumptions) and ways of behaving (norms, interactions, and communication).
  • 8. 8 The Meaning of this red light depends on the context
  • 9. Components of Culture  Symbols, anything that carries a particular meaning recognized by people who share culture.  One of the most important functions of symbolic culture is it allows us to communicate through signs, gestures, and language.  Signs (or symbols), such as a traffic signal or product logo, are used to meaningfully represent something else. Gestures are the signs that we make with our body, such as hand gestures and facial expressions; it is important that these gestures also carry meaning.
  • 10. Components of Culture (cont…) Language, a system of symbols that allows members of a society to communicate with one another. It is the major means of cultural transmission, the process by which one generation passes culture to the next.
  • 11. Components of Culture: Language The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which is the idea that language structures thought, and that ways of looking at the world are embedded in language, supports this premise. Ex: snow, jam, Family Guy
  • 12. Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis Since people can conceptualize the world only through language, language precedes thought Word symbols and grammar organize the world of us and determines our behavior Language does more than describe reality, it shapes the reality of a culture
  • 13. Examples The Hanunoo people of the Philippines have different names for 92 varieties of rice Americans use a single word “rice” Hanunoo would be incapable of seeing the distinction b/w a Ford and a Toyota
  • 14. An overview of U.S. Values made by sociologists Robin Williams (1965) Achievement and success Individualism Activity and work Efficiency and practicality Material comfort Freedom Democracy Equality
  • 15. Components of Culture (cont…) Values are abstract standards of goodness. Collective concepts of what is considered good, desirable, and proper-or bad, undesirable, and improper- in a culture Values indicate what people find important and morally right (or wrong) Values influence people's behavior and serve as criteria for evaluation of the actions of others
  • 16. Americans traditionally prized success through individual effort and initiative, Japanese emphasize collectivism and loyalty to the company
  • 17. Components of Culture (cont…) Beliefs are specific statements that people hold to be true. Norms, the formal and informal rules regarding what kinds of behavior are acceptable and appropriate within a culture. Norms govern our behavior. - Norms are established standards of behavior maintained by a society
  • 18. Components of Culture: Norms Some norms are: a. Proscriptive – mandating what we should not do Ex. Chinese parents scold young lovers for holding hands in public. b. Prescriptive – spell out what we should do Ex. U.S schools teach practices of “safe sex”.
  • 19. Norms Formal norms have been written down and involve strict rules or punishment of violators (Law is the “body of rules ,made by government for society, interpreted by courts, and backed by the power of the state” (Wise, 1993)
  • 20. Norms Informal norms are generally understood but are not precisely recorded Examples: standards of proper dress or proper behavior at school
  • 21. According to the informal norms of culture of the mountainous Asian kingdom of Bhutan, people greet each other by extending their tongues and hands
  • 22. Types of Norms (according to their relative importance to society) Mores (pronounced MORE-ays), refer to a society’s standard of proper moral conduct. - Each society demands obedience to its mores (violation can lead to severe penalties) Examples: murder, child abuse
  • 23. Types of Norms (according to their relative importance to society) Folkways, norms governing everyday behavior whose violation might cause a dirty look, rolled eyes, or disapproving comment Example: Walking up a “down” escalator in a department store challenges our standards of appropriate behavior - Proper dress, appropriate greetings, common courtesy 
  • 24. “A man who walks down a street wearing nothing on the upper half of his body is violating a folkway; a man is wearing nothing on the lower half of his body is violating one of mores (requirement that people cover their genitals and buttocks in public “(1987) Sociologists Ian Robertson illustrated the difference between Folkways and Mores:
  • 25. Types of Norms (according to their relative importance to society) Taboos are norms that are so deeply held that even the thought of violating them upset people In the U.S. There is a taboo against eating human flesh
  • 26. Social Control and Sanctions Sanctions are positive or negative reactions to the ways that people follow or disobey norms, including rewards for conformity and punishments for norm violators. Sanctions help to establish social control, the formal and informal mechanisms used to increase conformity to values and norms and thus increase social cohesion.
  • 27. Norms and Sanctions NORMS SANCTIONS POSITIVE NEGATIVE Formal Salary bonus Fine Medal Jail sentence Diploma Execution Testimonial dinner Expulsion Informal Smile Frown Compliment Humiliation Cheers Ostracism
  • 28. “Ideal” and “Real’ Culture  Ideal, social patterns mandated by cultural values and norms.  Real, actual social patterns that only approximate cultural expectations. To illustrate: Most women and men acknowledge the importance of sexual fidelity in marriage Even so, in a recent study, about 25% of married men and 10% of married women reported being sexually unfaithful to their spouses at some point in the marriage (Laumann et. al., 1994).
  • 29. Material Culture and Technology Material, tangible human creations that sociologists term artifacts. social patterns mandated by cultural values and norms. Technology, knowledge that a society applies to the task of living in a physical environment.
  • 30. CULTURAL DIVERSITY  Japan – the most monocultural of all industrial nations  United States – the most multicultural of all industrial nationsHigh Culture and Popular Culture High Culture – cultural patterns that distinguish a society’s elite Popular Culture – designates cultural patterns that are widespread among a society’s population.
  • 31. High Culture Low Culture
  • 32. Introduction to Sociology: Culture 32 Subculture Cultural patterns that set apart some segments of a society’s population. An educational program recognizing past and present cultural diversity in U.S society and promoting the quality of all cultural traditions. Multiculturalism
  • 33. Introduction to Sociology: Culture 33 Counterculture Cultural patterns that strongly oppose those widely accepted within a society. Causes: 1. Invention 2. Discovery 3. Diffusion Cultural Change
  • 34. Introduction to Sociology: Culture 34 Cultural Change Cultures usually change slowly and incrementally, though change can also happen in rapid and dramatic ways. One of the key ways that material culture can change is through technology.
  • 35. Cultural Change (cont…)  Cultural change can also occur through cultural diffusion, which is when different groups share their material and nonmaterial culture with each other.  Cultural leveling occurs when cultures that were once distinct become increasingly similar to one another.  Cultural imperialism is the imposition of one culture’s beliefs, practices, and artifacts on another culture through mass media and consumer products.
  • 36. Introduction to Sociology: Culture 36 Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativity Ethnocentrism, the practice of judging another culture by the standards of one’s own culture. Subservience to Males? Moral Depravity?
  • 37. Ways of looking at Cultures Who wants a snack? Cicadas, grasshoppers, and other insects on skewers for sale in Donghaumen Night Market in Beijing, China.
  • 38. Introduction to Sociology: Culture 38 Ways of looking at Cultures Cultural relativism, the practice of judging a culture by its own standards. When studying any group, it is important to try to employ cultural relativism because it helps sociologists see others more objectively.
  • 39. Cultural Relativism and Practice  Chinese immigrant was convicted in a New York court of bludgeoning his wife to death with a hammer  He was sentenced to only 5 years of probation  The judge took into consideration the cultural considerations  The deceased women confessed extramarital affair  Testimony of an expert in Chinese culture revealed that husbands in China exact severe punishment on their wives  In posttrial hearings, the judge declared that the defendant “took all his culture with him to the U.S. and therefore was not fully responsible for his violent act///”
  • 40. Xenocentrism Reverse to ethnocentrism Xenocentrism is the belief that the products, styles, or ideas of one’s society is inferior to those that originate elsewhere People in the U.S. assume that French fashion or Japanese electronic devices are superior to our own
  • 41. People in Saudi Arabia may prefer to buy Pepsi Cola and other food products that originate in the United States
  • 42. THEORETICAL ANALYSIS OF CULTURE  Structural-Functional Analysis - Views culture as a relatively stable system built on core values. Cultural traits function to maintain the over-all system.  Social-Conflict Analysis - Envisions culture as a dynamic arena of inequality and conflict. Cultural patterns typically benefit some categories of people more than others.  Sociobiology - investigates the influence of humanity’s evolutionary past on present-day cultural patterns.
  • 43. CULTURE AND HUMAN FREEDOM Culture as constraint Our emphasis on personal freedom affords us privacy and autonomy, yet our culture often denies us the support of a human community in which to share life’s problems. Culture as freedom Culture gives us the responsibility to make and remake a world for ourselves. 43
  • 44. SOCIETY For individuals, socialization is the process of building our humanity and particular identity through social experience. For society as a whole, socialization is the means by which one generation transmits culture to the next. Introduction to Sociology: Culture 44
  • 45. SIGMUND FREUD  Envisioned the human personality as composed of three parts: 1. Id – represents general human drives (the life and death instincts) which Freud claimed were innate. 2. Superego – embodies cultural values and norms internalized by individuals 3. Competition between the needs of the id and the restraints of the superego are mediated by the ego.
  • 46. JEAN PIAGET Believed that human development reflects both biological maturation and increasing social experience. In his view, socialization proceeds four major stages of development: sensory motor, concrete operational, and formal operational.
  • 47. LAWRENCE KOHLBERG Applied Piaget’s approach to the issue of moral development. Discovered that gender affects moral reasoning. Females, looks to the effect of decisions on relationships, while males rely more on abstract standards of rightness. Introduction to Sociology: Culture 47 CAROL GILLIGAN
  • 48. GEORGE HERBERT MEAD Socialization is based on the emergence of the self, which he viewed as partly autonomous (the I) and partly guided by society. Used the term “looking glass self” to underscore that the self is influenced by how we think others respond to us. Charles Horton Cooley
  • 49. KEY NOTES Commonly the first setting of socialization, the family has the greatest influence on a child’s attitudes and behavior. School exposes children to greater social diversity and introduces the experience of impersonal evaluation. Members of youthful peer groups are subject to adult supervision less than in the family or in
  • 50. KEY NOTES The mass media have considerable impact on the socialization process. As with each phase of the life course, the characteristics of childhood are socially constructed. Adolescence, the transition between childhood and adulthood, is considered a difficult period in our society.
  • 51. KEY NOTES During adulthood, socialization involves setting into careers and raising families. In old age, people make many transitions, including retirement. Adjustment to the death of a spouse (an experience more common to women) and acceptance of one’s own death are part of the socialization for the elderly.
  • 52. KEY NOTES Total institutions such as prisons and mental hospitals strive for socialization – radically changing the inmate’s personality. Socialization demonstrates the power of society to shape our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Yet, as free humans, we also have the capacity to act back on society and, in so doing, shape our lives and our world.
  • 53. Introduction to Sociology: Culture 53 Lesson Quiz 1. A student who tries to objectively analyze the food that the people of a different culture eat is using: a. ethnocentrism. b. ethnography. c. cultural relativism. d. cultural spotting.
  • 54. Introduction to Sociology: Culture 54 Lesson Quiz 2. Based on our discussion, what is the most significant component of culture? a. norms b. food c. language d. values
  • 55. Introduction to Sociology: Culture 55 Lesson Quiz 3. Which of the following is NOT true concerning norms? a. Norms are specific to a culture, time period, and situation. b. Norms are the rules and guidelines regarding what kinds of behaviors are acceptable. c. Norms often develop directly out of values. d. Norms are completely unrelated to the situation.
  • 56. Introduction to Sociology: Culture 56 Lesson Quiz 4. The spread of McDonald’s restaurants throughout Asia is an example of: a. technological determinism. b. cultural diffusion. c. cultural leveling. d. cultural imperialism.

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