Unit 8. Culture and Identity with special focus on Aruba
Objectives unit 8
by means of activities, we will explore the concept of culture
Discuss the elements and characteristics of Culture
Discuss Aruban cultural diversity and Change
In your own words, what does culture mean to you and what associations do you get when thinking about culture?
“A way of life”
The full range of learned human behavior patterns
Everything that people create or develop:
Values, norms, goals, and culture in general develop as people interact with each other over time;
It includes beliefs, values, behaviors and physical objects that create a people’s way of life
People create their culture, and this culture in turn shapes their behavior
The concept of culture
Definition of culture as a concept has implications for our categorization processes, the way we describe, evaluate, understand and communicate about cultures (ours and theirs)
Difference between static and dynamic approaches of the concept culture
A statically entity, block, unchanging, monolithic
A dynamic entity, changeable, contextual and with internal variations
Stereotypes are often related with statically views of culture (unchanging, generalizations, “they all are the same”)
Defining Culture :
“ processes of continuing shifting and changingsystems of meaning” *. There are “shared systems of values, norms, ideas, attitudes, behaviours, means of communication and the products of these” ** that are continuingly created in the interaction with their particular environment. [Systems of meaning] that play an important role in shaping the behaviour of the individual.*** .
*Bartels en Brouwer, 1999:16
**Van Oudenhoven, 2002: 14
*** Berry, 1997
Characteristics of Culture
Culture is learnt (socialization, see unit 6)
Culture is dynamic: ongoing process shaping and re-shaping itself, variable over time and place
Culture is shared (negotiated agreements: conventions)
Culture is transmittable (from one generation to the other one)
Culture is adaptive: in order to survive, it must adapt to changes in society
Culture is symbolic
Compare the culture of your grandparents with yours:
Culture is variable over time and place!
2 types of culture
Part of the culture that is concrete and tangible, the material things that a society creates and uses for survival; Physical and technological aspects of our daily lives, including: food, houses, clothing, paintings, books etc…
All intangible components of our ways of life: language, norms, ideas, believes, it includes: religion, techniques, philosophies etc…shared by members of the society
State whether the examples below represent material or non-material culture:
Activity 4: Arubans are...
Imagine you are living abroad, and you have toexplaintoyour new friends what itmeanstobe ‘Aruban’?
Howwould you describe the Aruban culture toyour new friends
To stereotype someone is to attribute to that person some characteristics which are seen to be shared by all or most of his or her fellow group members (Brown, 1995)
Prejudice: the holding of derogatory social attitudes or cognitive beliefs, the expression of negative affect or display of hostile or discriminatory behaviour towards members of a group on account of their membership of that group (Brown, 1995)
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