HE Access Week 2: Defining and Exploring Culture

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  • Blackburn College HE Access: Sociological perspectives - Culture
  • Blackburn College HE Access: Sociological perspectives - Culture
  • HE Access Week 2: Defining and Exploring Culture

    1. 1. Week 2: Defining & exploring Culture HE Access: Sociological perspectives - Culture 1
    2. 2. Week 2: Culture Norms, Values, beliefs & roles
    3. 3. HE Access: Sociological perspectives - Culture 3 What is Culture?  Culture is the entire way of life for a group of people (including both material and symbolic elements).  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. 4. HE Access: Sociological perspectives - Culture 4 Components of Culture (cont)  Values, shared beliefs about what a group considers worthwhile or desirable  Norms, the formal and informal rules regarding what kinds of behavior are acceptable and appropriate within a culture.  Values and Norms govern our behavior
    5. 5. HE Access: Sociological perspectives - Culture 5 Components of Culture: Norms  Norms are specific to a culture, time period, and situation.  Norms can be either formal, such as a law (an explicit statement about what is illegal in a society) or  Informal, which are not written down (but may be spoken, or communicated).
    6. 6. HE Access: Sociological perspectives - Culture 6 Components of Culture: Norms  A more (more-ray) is a norm that carries greater moral significance, is closely related to the core values of a group, and often involves severe repercussions for violators.  A taboo is a norm engrained so deeply that even thinking about violating it evokes strong feelings of disgust, horror, or revulsion for most people.
    7. 7. Examples … ?  In small groups, provide 1 or 2 examples of the following:  Cultural Values (beliefs)  Cultural Norms (rules) HE Access: Sociological perspectives - Culture 7
    8. 8. HE Access: Sociological perspectives - Culture 8 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.
    9. 9. HE Access: Sociological perspectives - Culture 9 Variations in Culture (cont’d)  The dominant culture refers to the values, norms, and practices of the group within society that is most powerful in terms of wealth, prestige, status, and influence.  A subculture is a group within society that is differentiated by its distinctive values, norms, and lifestyle.
    10. 10. HE Access: Sociological perspectives - Culture 10 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.
    11. 11. HE Access: Sociological perspectives - Culture 11 Take Away Points  Culture is a lens through which we view the world around us.  It is also a filter that we are (mostly) unaware modifies our perception of reality.  Culture is passed on to us from our elders, we the recreate it through interaction with other people.
    12. 12. How does culture influence your life? For next week: Pick four items and/or aspects and/or behaviours from within your house or home environment Describe them, and explain their relationship within the context of your culture: Identify whether you think they form examples of a cultural value (belief) or a cultural norm (formal or informal rule) HE Access: Sociological perspectives - Culture 12

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