Culture

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Culture

  1. 1. Define Culture• The two basic elements of society: Culture Social Structure• Definition: a patterned way of life a symbolic system It includes the set of practices such as traditions, customs, rituals, beliefs, values, rules for proper conducts, and also material objects: all human creations such as artifacts, building, music, dance, technology etc.
  2. 2. The Characteristics of Culture• Culture is universal, learned, shared, cumulative, paradoxical.• Any behavior or set of behavior that are biologically determined is NOT cultural phenomena.
  3. 3. Questions for the Movie:• How did the native Indians give name to a bird?• Why did native Indians and Europeans build buildings differently?• Which place does the narrator call a “wilderness”?• Why some could native Indians not understand the concept of “time”• Based on your understanding of the movie, answer how cultures were developed,• why human societies develop different cultures, And• How cultures change.
  4. 4. Components of Culture• Non material culture: ways of thinking and actingSymbolic culture: symbols, languages, gestures, non-verbal communication: body languageCognitive culture: values, belief, ideology,Normative culture: socially expected behavior: norms and sanctions• Material culture:items such as technology, arts, clothing etc.• Relationship between the two: compatibility and cultural lag
  5. 5. Symbolic Culture• Symbols: something to which people attach meaning and then is used to communicate.• Basis of nonmaterial culture• Elements: Gestures: can facilitate and hinder communication• Language: primary means of communication, means of transmission of experiences, allows culture to develop, without, human culture could not progress beyond that of lower primates.• The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis: One’s language determines how reality is constructed. Also termed as Linguistic-Relativity Hypothesis
  6. 6. Linguistic-Relativity Hypothesis• A culture’s language expresses how the people of that culture perceive and understand the world, and at the same time, influence people’s perceptions and understanding, and even mental process.
  7. 7. Normative Culture• Norms and sanctions: rules for behavior and social response• Positive sanction: approval for following a norm• Negative sanction: disapproval for breaking a norm.• Basic elements:• Folkways:norms not strictly enforced• mores: rules concerning the core value of society.• laws: rules in the form of legal codes, enforced by government agencies.• taboos: a strongly ingrained norm, the violation of which is repugnant (cannibalism)
  8. 8. Cognitive Culture: learned ideas and knowledge• Values: what is desirable in life• Ideal value vs real value• Value cluster: values are not mutually exclusive, some bound as a “cluster”.• Value contradiction: some values conflict with other values. A source for social change.• Ideologies: Beliefs that are used to justify social arrangement, rationalize and support the existing structure. Ideological hegemony• cultural industry
  9. 9. Cultural changes• Cultural diffusion: the spread of cultural characteristics from one culture to another. cultures.• Cultural leveling: As one part of a culture changes, the other parts has to follow, cultural leveling refers to the process by which culture becomes similar to one another.• Cultural lag: William Ogburn’s term for a situation in which nonmaterial culture lags behind changes in the material culture.• Cultural shock: the psychological and social maladjustment many people suffer when they visit or live in another society.
  10. 10. Cultural Variation• Cultural universals: traits believed to exist in all cultures• Culture diversity: cultural elements differ in contents.•• Subculture: within one culture, subgroups may have values, behavioral norms and lifestyles that are different from the mainstream culture.• Counterculture: a subculture whose members consciously and often proudly reject some of the most important cultural standards of the mainstream society.•
  11. 11. Ethnocentrism• Using one’s own cultural standards to judge other cultures, thinking their own culture is superior and the only way of life.• Functions: generate social cohesion, promote patriotism• Dysfunctions: cause discrimination, segregation, conflict, hamper social change
  12. 12. Cultural Relativism• Understanding and appreciating the differences and understand others in relation to their environment.• A challenge to ordinary thinking.
  13. 13. Understand Cultures• The cultural ecological perspective:• Culture is the means by which people adapt to their environment. It reflects people’s perception of their environment.• Herbert Spencer: human beingsevolved through cultural rather than biological mutationto survive.
  14. 14. Sociobiology on human social behavior• Studies how genetic factors affect social behavior of human beings.• Basic argument: certain behaviors are genetically programmed.(e.g. incest taboo, mother’s love)

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