CULTURE• Is the totality of learned socially transmitted customs, knowledge, material objects, and behavior.• It includes knowledge, beliefs, arts, law, morals, customs, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by a person as a member of society. – Edward Taylor• Is the total socially acquired lifeways of a group of people. - Marvin Harris• All that human beings learned to do, to use, to produce, and to believe as they grow to maturity and live out their lives in the social group to which they belong. - Tischler
CULTURE• Sets preconditioning factors for the development of an individual’s personality.• Provides the individual the material with which he or she develops habits, motor skills, attitudes, prejudices, aspirations, and capabilities.• Provides knowledge which enables everyone to survive physically or socially.• Controls and regulates the collective existence of the society and guides the individual in deciding the definition and order of responses to future experiences.• Therefore: Culture is the basis for human social life and is essential for existence, it becomes the basis for interpreting reality.
Ideal Culture vs. Real Culture• Ideal Culture – is the way people describe the standard of behavior – the blueprint which provides the directions and guidelines in relating with others or doing things.• Real Culture – refers to how one behaves in an actual situation within the context of what may be regarded as acceptable by the other members of society.
Characteristics of CultureCULTURE is ...• Learned• Transmitted orally or by writing• Shared• Patterned and integrated• Adaptive• Compulsory• Interact and change
Dimensions/Elements of Culture• Ideas – nonmaterial aspects of culture• Beliefs – man’s conviction on the reality of things• Values – collective conceptions of what is considered good, desirable, proper – or bad, undesirable, and improper – in a culture• Common understanding – refers to the use of gestures in interacting with others without explanations
Dimensions/Elements of Culture• Norms – established standards of behavior maintained by a society. – Formal Norms – norms that generally have been written down and that specify strict rules for punishments of violators. – Informal Norms – norms that are generally understood but are not precisely recorded. – Mores – norms deemed highly necessary to the welfare of the society. – Folkways – norms governing everyday social behavior whose violation raises comparatively little concern
Dimensions/Elements of Culture• Sanctions – penalties and rewards for conduct concerning a social norm.• Laws – are formalized norms defined by a governing body or public authority.• Fashion, fads, & crazes – short-term social norms which demand compliance at the time they operate.• Material – all physical, tangible, and concrete objects.• Technology – information about how to use material resources of the environment to satisfy human needs and desires.• Language – an abstract system of word meanings and symbols for all aspects of culture. It includes gestures and nonverbal communication.
Culture and Dominant Ideology• Dominant Ideology – describes the set of cultural beliefs and practices, which help to maintain powerful social, economic, and political interests.• Ideology – refers to a meaningful system of doctrines, ideas and symbols, norms, and values.
Aspects of Cultural Variation• Subculture – a segment of society that shares a distinctive pattern of mores, folkways, and values that differ from the pattern of the larger society.• Counterculture – a subculture that deliberately opposes certain aspects of the larger culture.• Culture Shock – the feeling of surprise and disorientation that is experienced when people encounter cultural practices different from their own.
Attitudes toward Cultural Variation• Ethnocentrism – the tendency to assume that one’s own culture and way of life represent the norm or are superior to all others.• Cultural Relativism – the viewing of people’s behavior from the perspective of their own culture.• Xenocentrism - the belief that the products, styles, or ideas of one’s society are inferior to those that originate elsewhere.