Sst 502(1)


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Sst 502(1)

  1. 1. Culture• is that complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, arts, morals, law, custom and• any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society. (Tylor 187/1958 p. 1)• enculturation- process by which a child learns his or her culture
  2. 2. • is an elaborate system of such norms—of standardized, expected ways of feeling and acting—the members of a society generally acknowledge and generally follow.• refers to the lifestyle of a people, including all of the ideas, values, knowledge, behaviors and material objects that they share.
  3. 3. Characteristics of Culture: 1. Culture is All-Encompassing • culture includes much more than refinement, taste, sophistication, education, and appreciation of the fine arts. • most interesting and significant forces of culture are those which affects people every day of their lives, particularly those which influence children during enculturation. • encompasses features that are sometimes regarded as trivial or unworthy of serious study, such as “popular culture”
  4. 4. 2. Culture is General and Specific•General- a capacity and possession shared by hominids•Specific- to describe the different and varied cultural traditions of specific societies.
  5. 5. 3. Culture is LearnedDifferent kinds of learning:• individual situational learning- occurs when an animal learns from and bases its future behavior on its own experience.• social situational learning- learn from other members of the social group.
  6. 6. •cultural learning- uniquely developed human capacity to use symbols, signs that have no necessary or natural connection with the things for which they stand.
  7. 7. 4. Culture is Symbolic• abstract ways of referring to and understanding ideas, objects, feelings, or behaviors—and the ability to communicate with symbols using language.
  8. 8. • Symbol- something verbal or nonverbal, within a particularly language or culture, that comes to stand for something else. ▫ usually linguistic  language ▫ nonverbal  flags stands for countries  holy water symbol for Roman Catholic
  9. 9. 5. Culture Seizes Nature• culture imposes itself on nature• 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.  English people eat fish for breakfast but Americans prefer hotcakes and cold cereals
  10. 10. • human nature is appropriated by cultural systems and molded in hundreds of directions. ▫ Frenchmen aren’t embarrassed to urinate in public ▫ Peasant women in Peruvian highlands squat in the streets and urinate in the gutter.
  11. 11. 6. Culture is Shared ▫ culture is transmitted in society. ▫ we learn our culture by observing, listening, talking and interacting with other people. ▫ shared cultural beliefs, values, memories, expectations and ways of thinking and acting override differences between people.
  12. 12. ▫enculturation unifies people by providing us with common experiences.▫people become agents in the enculturation of their children, just as their parents were for them.
  13. 13. 7. Culture is Patterned ▫ culture is integrated, patterned systems ▫ customs, institutions, beliefs and values are interrelated; if one changes, others changes as well.  American women in „50s expected to be a homemakers and mothers  Today, college women expect to get jobs when they graduate
  14. 14. ▫ cultures are integrated not simply by their dominant economic activities and social patterns but also by enduring themes, values, configurations, and world views.▫ cultures train their individual members to share certain personality traits.▫ a set of characteristic central or core values (key, basic, or central values) integrates each culture and helps distinguish it from others.
  15. 15. 8. Culture is Adaptive and Maladaptive ▫ humans can draw on both biological traits and learned, symbol-based behavior patterns. ▫ human groups also employ “cultural adaptive kits” containing customary patterns, activities, and tools.• Adaptive behavior- offers short term benefits to individuals, it may harm the environment and threaten the group‟s long term survival.
  16. 16. • Maladaptive- threatening the group‟s continued existence (survival and reproduction). ex. policies that encourage overpopulation, inadequate food distribution systems, nuclear arms race, pollution
  17. 17. • set of behavior expectations, a cultural image of how people are supposed to act. These norms are of several kinds and several degrees of compulsion, as seen in the following classification.• the social rules and guidelines that prescribe appropriate behavior in particular situations• These concepts were developed by the early sociologist William Graham Sumner in his Folkways, published in 1906.
  18. 18. Type of Cultural Norms 1. Folkways- customary, normal, habitual ways a group does things.  - sometimes known as “conventions” or “customs,” are standards of behavior that are socially approved but not morally significant.
  19. 19. • shaking hands, eating with knives and forks, wearing neckties on some occasions and sport shirts on others, driving on the right-hand of the street, eating toast for breakfast are some of the American folkways.• For example, belching loudly after eating dinner at someone elses home breaks an American folkway.
  20. 20. 2. Mores -ideas of right and wrong which attach to certain folkways which require certain acts and forbid others. - norms of morality. Breaking mores, like attending church in the nude, will offend most people of a culture
  21. 21.  Some mores are irrational food taboos ▫cattle, hogs or horses unfit to eat Modesty taboos ▫forbid exposure of the face, the ankle, the wrist, the breast or whatever is considered “immodest” Language Taboos ▫forbid misuse of certain sacred or obscene words
  22. 22.  Mores are beliefs in the rightness or wrongness of acts. Some mores are based upon a very genuine cause-and-effect relationship. random killings would threaten group survival and individual peace of mind thus, every known society has condemned the killing of a fellow member of the society.
  23. 23.  All known societies have developed an incest taboos, disapproving of sexual intercourse between close blood relatives because they found that sexual competition within the family was too disruptive. All mores are ideas which approve certain acts and forbid others in the belief that group welfare is being protected.
  24. 24.  Mores arise from a group belief that a particular act seems to be harmful and must be forbidden. Mores were a practical group belief about group welfare.  suppose trough some coincidence, several members of a tribe have nasty accidents after swimming in a certain pool. ▫ thus, any misfortune will be interpreted as a punishment and will reinforce these mores. ▫ mores become self-validating and self perpetuating.
  25. 25. 3. Institutions• an organized system of social relationships which embodies certain common values and procedures and meets certain basic needs of the society.• most formal and compelling of the norms of a society.
  26. 26. • Five basic institutions ▫ family life ▫ religion ▫ government ▫ education ▫ organization of economic activities
  27. 27. Includes the institution: a set of behavior patterns which have become highly standardized ▫ a set of supporting mores, attitudes and values ▫ body of traditions, rituals and ceremonies, symbols and vestments and other paraphernalia
  28. 28. 4. Laws• are a formal body of rules enacted by the state and backed by the power of the state.• many people will obey mores automatically or beacuse they want to do the “right” thing.• few people are tempted to violate mores.• these people may be forced to conform by the threat of legal punishment• the law serves to reinforce the mores.
  29. 29. • those who still will not conform are punished, imprisoned or even executed.• Mores do change and the actions they command in one era, they may forbid in another.• the change is seldom conscious and deliberate but is gradual adaptation to changing circumstances. ▫ crescive- a type of natural development little affected by conscious human decisions.  no legislature decreed the end of corsets for women  burning of witches
  30. 30. • this is a functionalist view of law- law as a tool of powerful in controlling and exploiting the powerless.• in any complex society, law enforces the mores and also protects and preserves the social system in which there are always some who are more privileged than others.
  31. 31. 5. Values• are ideas about whether experiences are important or unimportant.• guide a persons‟ judgements and behavior.• ex. no moral debate about wether classical music is right or wrong.• some values are prized more highly than others.
  32. 32. • the members of a simple society generally are closely agreed upon a single set of values, while complex societies develop conflicting value systems.• is it more important to promote maximum economic development or to protect the environment.• is change better than stability
  33. 33. • values disagreements are endless in complex societies and values change from time to time.• values shifts also affect the folkways and mores• the value shift toward sexual permissiveness is changing the mores of courtship, legal decisions about palimony aand patterns of family life.• values is closely related to price.• Price- is the money cost of a good or service, and the price one will pay measures how highly one values one good or service
  34. 34. A. Introduction• 1. Cultural universals are features that are found in every culture.• 2. Cultural generalities include features that are common to several, but not all human groups.• 3. Cultural particularities are features that are unique to certain cultural traditions.
  35. 35. UNIVERSALITY• 1. Cultural universals are those traits that distinguish Homo sapiens from other species.• 2. Some biological universals include a long period of infant dependency, year-round sexuality, and a complex brain that enables us to use symbols, languages, and tools.• 3. Some psychological universals include the common ways in which humans think, feel, and process information.• 4. Some social universals include: incest taboos, life in groups, families (of some kind), and food sharing.
  36. 36. UNIVERSALITY Something that exists in every culture• Shared by all human populations in every culture• Among the social universals is life in groups and in some kind of family.• In all human societies culture organizes social life and depends on social interactions.
  37. 37. UNIVERSALITY• Most significant cultural universals• Exogamy- marriage outside one‟s group• Incest taboo- prohibition against marrying or mating with a close relative• The violation of this taboo is incest, which discouraged and punished in a variety of ways in different cultures.
  38. 38. UNIVERSALITY• Because exogamy links human groups together into larger networks, it has been crucial in homind evolution.• It elaborates on tendencies observed among other primates
  39. 39. PARTICULARITY• Distinctive or unique culture trait, pattern, or integration• Different cultures emphasize different things.• Cultures are patterned and integrated differently and display tremendous variation and diversity.
  40. 40. PARTICULARITY• Uniqueness and particularity stand at the opposite extreme from universality.• Unusual and exotic beliefs and practices lend distinctiveness tp particular cultural traditions.• Many cultures ritually observe such universal life cycle events as birth,
  41. 41. PARTICULARITY• Puberty, marriage, parenthood, and death.• However, cultures vary in just which event merits special celebration.• Ex.• Americans regard expensive weddings than lavish funerals• The marriage ceremony of the Betsileo
  42. 42. PARTICULARITY▫ Event that brings together just the couple and a few close relatives.▫ However, a funeral is a measure of the deceased person‟s social position and lifetime achievementCultures vary tremendously in their beliefs and practices.By focusing on and trying to explain alternative customs, anthropology forces us to reappriase our familiar ways of thinking.
  43. 43. Generality• Between universal and uniqueness is a middle ground that consists of cultural generalities: regularities that occur in different times and places but not in all cultures.• Culture pattern or traits that exists in some but not all societies.
  44. 44. GeneralityOne reason for generalities:• Diffusion- borrowing between cultures either directly or through intermediaries.• Independent invention-development of the same culture trait or pattern in separate cultures as a result of comparable needs and circumstances.
  45. 45. Generality• One cultural generality:• Nuclear Family- Kinship group consisting of parents and children.• Although many Americans ethnocentrically view the nuclear family as a proper and natural group, it is not universal.• It is totally absent among the Nayars live in female-headed households and
  46. 46. Generality• In many societies, the nuclear family is submerged in larger kin groups such as extended families, lineages and clans.