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Chapter 2 Culture


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  • 1. CULTURE Chapter 2
  • 2. What is Culture ?
    • Language, Beliefs, Values, Norms, Behavior Passed from One Generation to the Next
      • Material Culture – the material objects that distinguish a group of people, such as their art, buildings, weapons, utensils, machines, hairstyles, clothing, and jewelry
      • Nonmaterial Culture – ( also called symbolic culture ) a group’s ways of thinking (including its beliefs, values, and other assumptions about the world) and doing (its common patterns of behavior, including language and other forms of interaction)
  • 3. Culture and Taken-for-Granted Orientations
    • What is Normal, Natural, or Usual?
      • Our speech, our gestures, our beliefs, and our customs, are usually taken for granted. We assume that they are “normal”, and we almost always follow them without question.
    • Culture as Lens
      • Culture becomes the lens through which we perceive and evaluate what is going on around us
    • Culture Shock – the disorientation that people experience when they come in contact with a fundamentally different culture and can no longer depend on their taken-for granted assumptions about life
  • 4. Culture and Taken-for-Granted Orientations
    • Ethnocentrism – the use of one’s own culture as a yardstick for judging the ways of other individuals or societies, generally leading to a negative evaluation of their values, norms, and behaviors.
    • … .not to be confused with
    • Cultural Relativism – not judging a culture but trying to understand it on its own terms
  • 5. Cultural Diversity in the United States - Example
    • Arrival of the Hmong (page 40)
      • The Trip Over
      • The New Home
      • The New Rules
      • Isolation and the Re-gathering
  • 6. Components of Symbolic Culture
      • Symbolic Culture – another term for nonmaterial culture
      • Symbol – something to which people attach meanings and then use to communicate with others
      • Gestures – the ways in which people use their bodies to communicate with one another
      • Language – a system of symbols that can be combined in an infinite number of ways and can represent not only objects but also abstract thought
  • 7. Components of Symbolic Culture
    • Gestures (page 44)
      • Conveying messages without words
      • Gestures’ meaning differ among cultures
      • Can lead to misunderstandings
  • 8. Components of Symbolic Culture
    • Language
      • Allows human experience to be cumulative
      • Provides social or shared past
      • Provides social or shared future
      • Allows shared perspective
      • Allows complex, shared, goal-directed behavior
  • 9. Language and Perception:Sapir-Whorf
    • Sapir- Whorf Hypothesis - Edward Sapir’s and Benjamin Whorf’s hypothesis that language creates ways of thinking and perceiving
      • Language Has Embedded Within It Ways of Looking at the World
      • Sapir-Whorf Reverses Common Sense
      • Example: (page 48) Hebrew only has one word for jam and jelly so this man never perceived or “saw”the difference until learning it in English
  • 10. Values, Norms, and Sanctions
    • Values – The standards by which people define what is desirable or undesirable, good or bad, beautiful or ugly.
    • Norms – expectations, or rules of behavior, that reflect and enforce values
    • Sanctions – expressions of approval or disapproval given to people for upholding or violating norms
      • Positive Sanction – a rewards or positive reaction following norms, ranging from a smile to a prize
      • Negative Sanction – an expression of disapproval for breaking a norm, ranging from a mild, informal reaction such as a frown to a formal reaction such as a prison sentence or an execution
  • 11. Folkways and Mores
    • Folkways – norms that are not strictly enforced
      • Example: walking on the wrong side of the sidewalk
    • Mores – norms that are strictly enforced because they are thought essential to core values or the well-being of the group
      • Example: a person who kills or rapes another person has violates some of society’s most serious mores
    • Taboo – a norm so strong that it often brings revulsion if violated
      • Example: eating human flesh or having sex with one’s parents
  • 12. Subcultures and Countercultures
    • Subculture – The values and related behaviors of a group that distinguish its members from the larger culture; a world within a world
    • Counterculture – a group whose values, beliefs, and related behaviors place its members in oppsition to the broader culture
    • Pluralistic Society – a society made up of many different groups
  • 13. Values in U.S. Society (a pluralistic society) Page 52 Romantic Love Democracy Science and Technology Religiosity Freedom Efficiency and Practicality Education Humanitarianism Activity and Work Racism and Group Superiority Material Comfort Individualism Equality Progress Achievement and Success
  • 14. Emerging Values (page 57)
    • Leisure
    • Self-fulfillment
    • Physical Fitness
    • Youthfulness
    • Concern for the Environment
    • Value Cluster – values that together form a larger whole
    • Value Contradiction – values that contradict one another; to follow one means to come into conflict with the other
  • 15. Values and Culture (page 58)
    • Culture Wars: When Values Clash
    • Value as Blinders
    • “ Ideal” vs. “Real” Culture
      • Ideal Culture – the ideal values and norms of a people; the goals held out for them
      • Real culture – the norms and values that people actually follow
  • 16. Cultural Universals
    • Cultural Universal – a value, norm, or other cultural trait that is found in every group
      • For example, some activities are universal - courtship, marriage, funerals, games
      • However, specific customs associated with activities differ between groups
  • 17. Technology in the Global Village
    • Sociobiology – a framework of thought that views human behavior as the result of natural selection and considers biological factors to be the fundamental cause of human behavior
      • Controversial View of Human Behavior
      • Biology Cause of Human Behavior
      • Charles Darwin and Natural Selection
      • Sociologists and Social Biologists on Opposite Sides
  • 18. Technology in the Global Village
    • The New Technology - New Tools
      • Technology – in it narrow sense, tools; its broader sense includes the skills or procedures necessary to make and use those tools
      • New Technology – the emerging technologies of an era that have a significant impact on social life
    • Cultural Lag and Cultural Change
      • Cultural Lag – Ogburn’s term for human behavior lagging behind technological innovations
      • Cultural Diffusion – the spread of cultural characteristics from one group to another
    • Technology and Cultural Leveling
      • Cultural Leveling – the process by which cultures become similar to one another; refers to the process by which U.S. culture is being exported and diffused into other nations