How cultures change
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How Cultures Change. Terminology. Culture : The sum total of learned behavior in a given society Culture is the way of life – the shared, learned behavior – of a people Society : Refers to a number of people living within a certain geographic area who have a common culture.

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How Cultures Change

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How cultures change

How Cultures Change


Terminology

Terminology

  • Culture: The sum total of learned behavior in a given society

    • Culture is the way of life – the shared, learned behavior – of a people

  • Society: Refers to a number of people living within a certain geographic area who have a common culture.

    • The basic characteristic of all societies is people.

    • The members of society transmit the culture from generation to generation.

  • Subcultures: is a group of people within a society who share certain beliefs, values, and customs.

    • An example would be the residents of Chinatown in Philadelphia or San Francisco.


Causes of cultural change

Causes of Cultural Change

  • Technology: Refers to the skills and tools that a people use

    • For thousands of years, cultures changed slowly

    • Advancements in technology, especially means of communication and transportation, has quickened the pace of change

  • Changing Environment

    • The natural environment has shaped human culture

    • People’s ways of life have been influenced by where they live

  • New Ideas

    • People change their behavior because of new information or ways of thinking


Causes of cultural change diffusion

Causes of Cultural Change - Diffusion

  • Diffusion: the movement of customs or ideas from one place to another.

  • The migration, or movement, of people across different regions of the globe has led to the exchange of goods, skills, ideas, and technology

  • Diffusion can occur by peaceful means such as trade or through war.

    • Conquerors throughout history have forced their ideas on the people they defeated

    • Some accept new ideas willingly in order to strengthen their own culture


Ethnocentrism

Ethnocentrism

  • Ethnocentrism: The judging of other cultures by the standards of one’s own culture

  • Ethnocentrism can be both good and bad

    • Good: It provides faith and confidence in one’s own cultural tradition

    • Bad: It can encourage racism and it can cause conflict and hostility between groups.


Racism

Racism

  • Racism: the belief that one racial group is naturally superior to another

    • It often results when groups of people compete for food, land, money, and social power

    • The group that wins the struggle uses racist ideas as an excuse for dominating others

  • Cultural Relativism: The recognition that one culture cannot be judged by the standards of another.


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