What is culture
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What Is Culture?. How does culture link the individual to society? 1. Ralph Linton’s definition: Problem: To what extend can the cultural progamming socialize the individual into the society (to make him meet the norms and requirements of the society)?. What is Culture?.

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What Is Culture?

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What is culture

What Is Culture?

  • How does culture link the individual to society?

  • 1. Ralph Linton’s definition:

  • Problem: To what extend can the cultural progamming socialize the individual into the society (to make him meet the norms and requirements of the society)?

What is culture1

What is Culture?

  • What use is culture to the individual?

  • 2. Goodenough’s definition:

  • Problem:

What is culture2

What is Culture?

  • How to define the ‘borders’ of a culture?

  • Child and Kiese’s definition:

  • Question: to what extent do the characteristics of the groups, say ‘Texans’, ‘Parisians’, or ‘docs’, or ‘showbiz’, relating to certain patterns of thought, belief or behaviour, really differentiate them from other cultural groups?

Elements of culture

Elements of Culture

  • The element which derives from biological needs:

  • Eating: Muslim, Buddhism, Jewish, …

  • http://www.jewishfamily.com/lifestyles_a.php?text=http://www.jewishfamily.com/lifestyles/health/Shavout.txt

  • http://www.muslimconsumergroup.com/hfs.htm

  • Sexual behaviour: circumcision and clitoridectomy

  • Death: funeral, mourning, …

Elements of culture1

Elements of Culture

  • Language:

  • Whorf-Sapir hypothesis:

  • The language we learn in the community where we are born and raise shapes and structures our world-view and our social behaviour. (could be challenged, in many cases language simply reflects culture.)

Elements of culture2

Elements of Culture

  • Language:

  • Example 1:

  • business

  • negocio

  • 商業

  • Example 2:

  • See Handout 1

Elements of culture3

Elements of Culture

  • Social institutions, material and symbolic production

  • Social institutions: 7 universal types by Malinowski)

  • 1. Family; clan (Scotland, 氏族, 宗親會…)

  • 2. A horde of nomads, village, town, region, province, the ‘mega-tribe’

  • 3. 晚晴協會, boy/girl scout, 中華民國殘障協會

  • 4. Freemanson (http://www.cdn.com.tw/daily/1998/09/07/text/870907i1.htm), Rotary Club, 洪門,

Elements of culture4

Elements of Culture

  • Social Intuitions:

  • 5. American Medical Association (AMA) http://www.ama-assn.org/

  • 6. Social class system, caste system

  • 7. State, nation-state (Tibetans in China; gays/lesbian in Catholic countries; Swedish-speaking Finns in Finland)

Elements of culture5

Elements of Culture

  • Productions:

  • 1. Material productions: food, clothing, ornaments,

  • 2. Productions of intellect, artistry and service:

  • Credit card; world wide web; War and Peace; Aquina, Hume,莊子; Music;http://www.allposters.com/gallery.asp?aid=85097&item=308509

  • http://www.allposters.com/gallery.asp?aid=85097&item=376287

Elements of culture6

Elements of Culture

  • Symbolic and sacred elements:

  • symbol

  • Physic world metaphysical world

  • Example:

  • Fire; color; cross; 八卦; Swastika; OM; serpent;

Culture and nationality

Culture and nationality

  • culture ≠ nationality

  • one culture → one nation → state (nation state)

  • (theoretically desired but practically impossible)

  • Example:

  • India: one nation, sub-cultures

  • Swiss: one nation, multi-culture

  • Singapore: one nation, multi-culture

  • Kurds: one culture, multi-nation

Sources of culture

Sources of Culture

  • Sources of culture (at the individual level):

  • language(s); nationality; education; profession; group (ethnicity); religion; family; sex; social class; corporate or organizational culture

  • Example: Chinese American, female, playwright, Christian, …

Culture and competence

Culture and competence

  • What influence the competence of people in different cultures?

  • Environmental variables, e.g, climate; continental v.s. oceanic: only an indirect influence

  • Physiological variable: scarcely credible now

  • Education systems and rearing practices:

  • Feeding and nourishing, weaning, personal hygiene and toilet training, the degree and modes so socialization into various parts of the community (with other children, with adult, with the opposite sex), the reward/sanction systems

Culture and social representations

Culture and social representations

  • Social representation:

  • 1. a class of psychic and social phenomena that relate the individual to the social aspect of collective life.

  • 2. Miniatures of behaviour, copies of reality and forms of operational knowledge in order to reach and implement everyday decisions.

Culture and social representations1

Culture and social representations

  • According to what criteria do you make your health-care decision?

  • If you want to make yourself look more beautiful, what will you do?

  • family violence: Do people see violence in their own or others’ families differently before and after the enforcement of ‘家庭暴力防治法’?

Culture and social representations2

Culture and social representations

  • Cultural representations (orientations):

  • Being or doing

  • Power distance: hierarchical or egalitarian

  • Linerity or cyclicity of time

  • Collectivism or individualism

  • Categorical or holistic thinking

  • Logic: straight or curve

Culture and social representations3

Culture and social representations

  • Social presentations:

  • Less profound, constantly updated through social situations, individual behaviour and social activities (ten to twenty years); more suited to the urgent need for collective and individual adaptation to reality.

  • Culture presentations—change over centuries

Assignment 1

Assignment 1

  • http://www.zompist.com/amercult.html

  • Search the website listed above. After reading the writings (at least for five countries/regions) about different country, write your own ‘How to tell if you’re a Taiwanese (or Chinese, Hukanese, …whatever you would like to call yourself)’

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