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CULTURE. What is culture ? Culture is defined as the beliefs, values, behavior, and material objects shared by a particular people . Components of culture Material culture Nonmaterial culture. Example of non-material culture Here a president gets a Maori greeting.

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What is culture?

  • Culture is defined as the beliefs, values, behavior, and material objects shared by a particular people.

Components of culture

  • Material culture
  • Nonmaterial culture
Example of non-material culture
  • Here a president gets a Maori greeting
Culture provides a taken for granted orientation to life

1) People assume that their own culture is normal or natural, when in fact it is arbitrary

2) Culture provides the lens through which reality is evaluated

3) Culture provides a behavioral imperative of what we should do, and a moral imperative that defines right and wrong.

Culture shock results from contact with radically different culture that challenges basic assumptions.
components of culture
Components of Culture

A. Symbols

  • A symbol is something to which people attach meaning and then use to communicate.
  • Symbolic culture includes gestures, language, values, norms, sanctions.
B. Language
  • is a system of symbols (words) that can be put together in an infinite number of way to communicate abstract thought.
  • Language helps in cultural transmission
C. Values, Norms and Sanctions
  • Values are standards that define what is desirable or undesirable, good or bad, beautiful or ugly.
  • Norms are expected ways of behavior that develops our values. May either be proscriptive or prescriptive.
D. Rituals
  • Part of non-material culture that has to do more with behavior than attitudes and rules.
  • Customary, often ceremonial activities that signify a cultures' shared beliefs, values, and norms.
Mores – norms that have great moral significance
  • Folkways – norms that have less more significance than mores.
Sanctions are positive (reward, smile) or negative (fine, a frown) reactions to how people follow norms.

Subcultures and Countercultures

  • Subcultures – cultural patterns that distinguish some segment of society of society’s population
Multiculturalism – promotes equality of all cultural traditions
  • Counterculture -groups whose values set their members in opposition to the dominant cultures
High culture – cultural patterns of the rich (elites).
  • Popular culture – cultural patterns that are widespread in society.
  • Eurocentric – dominance of European cultural patterns.
  • Afrocentric –dominance of African cultural patterns in peoples lives.
Cultural Change is promoted by
  • Invention
  • Discovery
  • Diffusion
  • Identify the cultural values and social norms that are associated with the automobile.