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Culture Change


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Culture Change

  1. 1. ASSIGNMENT ON CULTURE SUBMITTED TO: PROF:ALLAUDDIN LECTURER DEPT. OF ARCHITECTURE PREMIER UNIVERSITY CHITTAGONG SUBMITTED BY: 1300411600078 1300511600100 1300411600110 1400611600112 1400611600114 1400611600120 1400611600122 1400611600126 1400611600132 1400611600134
  2. 2. What is Culture?  Culture Is Learned  Culture Is Shared  Culture Is Symbolic  Culture and Nature  Culture Is All-Encompassing  Culture Is Integrated  Culture Can Be Adaptive and Maladaptive  Culture and the Individual: Agency and Practice Culture Is Learned  The ease with which children absorb any cultural tradition rests on the uniquely elaborated human capacity to learn.  On the basis of cultural learning, people create, remember, and deal with ideas.  Every person begins immediately, through a process of conscious and unconscious learning and interaction with others, to internalize, or incorporate, a cultural tradition through the process of enculturation.  Culture also is transmitted through observation. Culture Is Shared  Culture is an attribute not of individuals per se but of individuals as members of groups.  Culture is transmitted in society.  Shared beliefs, values, memories, and expectations link people who grow up in the same culture  Enculturation unifi es people by providing us with common experiences. Culture Is Symbolic  Symbolic thought is unique and crucial to humans and to cultural learning.  A symbol is something verbal or nonverbal, within a particular language or culture, that comes to stand for something else  Culture symbolizes consists of tools, implements, utensils, clothing, ornaments, customs, institutions, beliefs, rituals, games, works of art, language, etc. Culture and Nature  Culture takes the natural biological urges we share with other animals and teaches us how to express them in particular ways.  People have to eat, but culture teaches us what, when, and how.  Cultural habits, perceptions, and inventions mold “human nature” into many forms. Characterstics Of Culture: Culture Is All-Encompassing  For anthropologists, culture includes much more than refinement, good taste, sophistication, education, and appreciation of the fine arts.  The most interesting and significant cultural forces are those that affect people every day of their lives, particularly those that influence children during enculturation.  As a cultural manifestation comic book may be as significant as a book-award winner.
  3. 3. Culture Is Integrated  Cultures are not haphazard collections of customs and beliefs.  Cultures are integrated, patterned systems.  If one part of the system (the overall economy, for instance) changes, other parts change as well.  Attitudes and behavior regarding marriage, family, and children have changed. Late marriage, “living together,” and divorce have become more common.  Cultures are integrated not simply by their dominant economic activities and r elated social patterns but also by sets of values, ideas, symbols, and judgments.  Cultures train their individual members to share certain personality traits.  A set of characteristic core values (key, basic, central values) integrates each culture and helps distinguish it from others. Different sets of dominant values infl uence the patterns of other cultures. Culture Can Be Adaptive and Maladaptive  Humans have both biological and cultural ways of coping with environmental stresses.  Besides our biological means of adaptation, we also use “cultural adaptive kits,” which contain customary activities and tools that aid us.  Although humans continue to adapt biologically, reliance on social and cultural means of adaptation has increased during human evolution and plays a crucial role.  Sometimes, adaptive behavior that offers short-term benefits to particular subgroups or individuals may harm the environment and threaten the group’s long-term survival.  Thus, cultural traits, patterns, and inventions can also be maladaptive , threatening the group’s continued existence (survival and reproduction).  Many cultural patterns such as overconsumption and pollution appear to be maladaptive in the long run Culture and the Individual: Agency and Practice  Generations of anthropologists have theorized about the relationship between the “ system,” on one hand, and the “person” or “individual” on the other.  The system can refer to various concepts, including culture, society, social relations, or social structure. Individual human beings always make up, or constitute, the system. But, living within that system, humans also are constrained (to some extent, at least) by its rules and by the actions of other individuals.  Cultural rules provide guidance about what to do and how to do it, but people don’t always do what the rules say should be done.  People use their culture actively and creatively, rather than blindly following its dictates. Cultures are dynamic and constantly changing.  People learn, interpret, and manipulate the same rule in different ways—or they emphasize different rules that better suit their interests.  Culture is contested  The ideal culture consists of what people say they should do and what they say they do.  Real culture refers to their actual behavior as observed by the anthropologist.  The system shapes how individuals experience and respond to external events, but individuals also play an active role in how society functions and changes.  Practice theory recognizes both constraints on individuals and the fl exibility and changeability of cultures and social systems.
  4. 4. CULTURE CHANGE Culture changes through developments in technology, political beliefs and religious ideas. External encounters with diverse societies and environmental factors also change cultural beliefs. Cultural change sometimes causes a backlash from those with more traditional social views Cultures change in a number of ways. The only way new cultural traits emerge is through the process of discovery and invention. Someone perceives a need and invents something to meet that need. Seems a simple enough concept; however, it often takes a long time for a new invention to be fully integrated into a culture. Why? Because often other elements of the culture have to change to meet or maintain the needs of the new invention. This is referred to as culture lag. The automobile is a good example of discovery and invention and culture lag. The auto was invented as a mode of more efficient transportation. Many things had to change in order for the automobile to become a fixture in a culture. People had to be persuaded that the automobile was a better form of transportation. Roads had to be constructed; a way to procure fuel needed to be developed; mechanics were needed to fix cars; efficient production of cars had to be developed to meet supply demands; safety concerns, rules of the road, insurance, and numerous other elements of culture had to catch up with the invention of the automobile. Another way cultures change is through diffusion. Diffusion is simply the borrowing of traits. There is a long laundry list of things in US culture that were borrowed from other cultures. Pajamas made their way to the US from India. Spaghetti was borrowed from China by way of Italy, and corn came from Mesoamerica. Ralph Linton, a noted anthropologist, wrote a short article entitled “One Hundred Percent American” in which he outlines numerous things that U.S. culture borrowed from other cultures. Yet another way cultures change is through the process of acculturation. Acculturation is also the borrowing of traits; however, there is a superordinate, or dominant, and subordinate, or minority, relationship between cultures. The dominant culture picks and chooses those traits from the subordinate culture that it deems useful, i.e., diffusion. The subordinate culture is pressured to adopt the traits of the dominant culture. It is the element of pressure that differentiates acculturation from diffusion. Acculturation manifests itself in multiple ways. One way is called the Melting Pot. The melting pot refers to a blending of cultures. This primarily occurs through intermarriage of people from the two cultures. What frequently happens is that one of the two cultures is dominant and the other subordinate within the relationship so that only some of its traits are practiced. Another form of acculturation is called the Salad Bowl, or cultural pluralism. This occurs when people immigrate and keep as many original cultural traits as possible. Chinatown in San Francisco is a good example of the salad bowl. The different types of acculturation are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Even in the case of cultural pluralism people must adopt certain traits of the host country;
  5. 5. Diffusion: the spreading of something more widely. Acculturation: Acculturation is the process of cultural change and psychological change that results following meeting between cultures. The effects of acculturation can be seen at multiple levels in both interacting cultures. Processes of Change All Cultures are inherently predisposed to change and, at the same time, to resist change. There are dynamic processes operating that encourage the acceptance of new ideas and things while there are others that encourage changeless stability. It is likely that social and psychological chaos would result if there were not the conservative forces resisting change. There are three general sources of influence or pressure that are responsible for both change and resistance to it: Within a society, processes leading to change include invention and culture loss. Inventions may be either technological or ideological. The latter includes such things as the invention of algebra and calculus or the creation of a representative parliament as a replacement for rule by royal decree. Technological inventions include new tools, energy sources, and transportation methods as well as more frivolous and ephemeral things such as style of dress and bodily adornment. Culture loss is an inevitable result of old cultural patterns being replaced by new ones. For instance, not many Americans today know how to care for a horse. A century ago, this was common knowledge, except in a few large urban centers. Since then, vehicles with internal combustion engines have replaced horses as our primary means of transportation and horse care knowledge lost its importance. As a result, children are rarely taught these skills. Instead, they are trained in the use of the new technologies of automobiles, televisions, stereos, cellular phones, computers, and iPods. Within a society, processes that result in the resistance to change include habit and the integration of culture traits. Older people, in particular, are often reticent to replace their comfortable, long familiar cultural patterns. Habitual behavior provides emotional security in a threatening world of change. Religion also often provides strong moral justification and support for maintaining traditional ways. In the early 21st century, this is especially true of nations mostly guided by Islamic Law, such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The fact that cultural institutions are integrated and often interdependent is a major source of resistance to change. For instance, in the second half of the20th century, rapidly changing roles of North American and European women were resisted by many men because it inevitably resulted in changes in their roles as well. Male and female roles do not exist independent of each other. This sort of integration of cultural traits inevitably slows down and modifies cultural changes. Needless to say, it is a source of frustration for both those who want to change and those who do not.  Forces at work within a society  Contact between societies  Changes in the natural environmental
  6. 6. The processes leading to change that occur as a result of contact between societies are Diffusion is the movement of things and ideas from one culture to another. When diffusion occurs, the form of a trait may move from one society to another but not its original cultural meaning. For instance, when McDonald's first brought their American style hamburgers to Moscow and Beijing, they were accepted as luxury foods for special occasions because they were relatively expensive and exotic. In America, of course, they have a very different meaning--they are ordinary every day fast food items. Acculturation is what happens to an entire culture when alien traits diffuse in on a large scale and substantially replace traditional cultural patterns. After several centuries of relentless pressure from European Americans to adopt their ways, Native American cultures have been largely acculturated. As a result, the vast majority of American Indians now speak English instead of their ancestral language, wear European style clothes, go to school to learn about the world from a European perspective, and see themselves as being a part of the broader American society. As Native American societies continue to acculturate, most are experiencing a corresponding loss of their traditional cultures despite efforts of preservationists in their communities.  Diffusion  Acculturation  Transculturation While acculturation is what happens to an entire culture when alien traits overwhelm it, transculturation is what happens to an individual when he or she moves to another society and adopts its culture. Immigrants who successfully learn the language and accept as their own the cultural patterns of their adopted country have transculturated. In contrast, people who live as socially isolated expatriates in a foreign land for years without desiring or expecting to become assimilated participants in the host culture are not transculturating. There is one last process leading to change that occurs as an invention within a society as a result of an idea that diffuses from another. This isstimulus diffusion --a genuine invention that is sparked by an idea from another culture. An example of this occurred about 1821 when a Cherokee Indian named Sequoyah saw English writing which stimulated him to create a unique writing system for his own people. Part of hissyllable based system is illustrated below. Note that some letters are similar to English while others are not. It is also likely that ancient Egyptians around 3050 B.C. invented their hieroglyphic writing system after learning about the cuneiform writing system invented by Sumerians in what is today Southern Iraq. There are processes operating in the contact between cultures as well that result in resistance to change. These are due to "us versus them" competitive feelings and perceptions. Ethnocentrism also leads people to reject alien ideas and things as being unnatural and even immoral. These ingroup-outgroup dynamics commonly result in resistance to acculturation and assimilation.
  7. 7. Summation Culture is an essential aspect of being human. The few recorded cases of children raised in isolation show that growing up as a member of society is absolutely fundamental to human development.