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CULTURE

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  1. CULTURE

  2. CULTURE • CULTURE: knowledge, language, values, customs, and physical objects that are passed from generation to generation among members of a group • It guides our relationships with others

  3. SOCIETY • Def: a group of people who inhabit a specific territory and share a common culture • Culture defines a society’s way of life • It is learned

  4. CULTURE VS INSTINCTS • INSTINCTS: unlearned patterns of behavior (innate) • Instincts may create a drive (impulse to reduce discomfort) but do not teach • Culture focuses instincts

  5. SOCIOBIOLOGY • The systematic study of how biology influences human behavior • Combines Darwin’s natural selection and modern genetics • Certain social behaviors are beneficial and therefore carry on in society

  6. SECTION 2: LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

  7. SAPIR-WHORF HYPOTHESIS • Hypothesis of Linguistic Relativity: our idea of reality depends largely upon language • If something is important to a culture, there will be many words to describe it

  8. EXPANDING PERCEPTION • Exposure to another language can alter a person’s perception • Understanding the cultural norms of another society is beneficial

  9. SECTION 3: NORMS AND VALUES

  10. NORMS • Def: rules that define behavior • Anything is appropriate when norms approve of it • Change over time b/c of: • 1) Invention: creation of new cultural elements • 2) Discovery: better understanding of something already known • 3) Diffusion: spread of ideas

  11. 3 TYPES OF NORMS • There are 3 identified types of norms • Violation of these is tolerated in different degrees

  12. FOLKWAYS • Norms that lack moral significance • Not vital to group welfare • Violations is tolerated but seen as odd

  13. MORES • Norms that have moral dimensions and that should be followed by members of the society • TABOO: a rule of behavior; violation of which calls for strong punishment

  14. LAWS • Norm that is formally defined and enforced by officials • Mores are usually good sources for laws • Folkways can also become laws

  15. SANCTIONS • Def: rewards and punishments used to encourage people to follow norms • 2 types…

  16. FORMAL SANCTIONS • Def: imposed by persons given special authority • Positive---awards • Negative---punishments

  17. INFORMAL SANCTIONS • Def: rewards or punishments that can be applied by most members of a group • Positive and negative as well

  18. VALUES---THE BASIS FOR NORMS • Def: broad ideas about what is good or desirable shared by ppl in a society • Different groups in the same society can have different norms based on the same values • Very general

  19. BASIC U.S. VALUES • 1) Achievement and success • 2) Activity and work • 3) Efficiency and practicality • 4) Equality • 5) Democracy • 6) Group superiority • All are subject to change

  20. BELIEFS AND MATERIAL CULTURE

  21. z z NONMATERIAL/MATERIAL CULTURE • Nonmaterial culture: ideas, knowledge, and beliefs that influence behavior • Material culture: the concrete, tangible objects of a culture

  22. BELIEFS—WHY THEY MATTER • Belief: ideas about the nature of reality • Can be true or false • Ppl base their behavior on beliefs • They provide a sense of community • They put into action the values considered important

  23. MATERIAL CULTURE RELATION TO NONMATERIAL • Physical objects only have the meaning that ppl apply to them • We apply norms, values, and beliefs to physical objects, which is what defines them

  24. IDEAL AND REAL CULTURE • Ideal culture: cultural guidelines that group members claim to accept • Real culture: actual behavior patterns • A gap usually exists between these 2 in most societies

  25. CULTURAL DIVERSITY

  26. SOCIAL CATEGORIES • Def: groupings of persons who share social characteristics • Age, gender, religion, etc… • Cultural relevance: having materials appropriate for cultures

  27. FOLK AND POP • Folk culture: practiced by traditional groups, usually in isolation • Pop culture: widespread cultural patterns • Culture shock: feeling of surprise and confusion when encountering different cultures

  28. SUBCULTURES • Def: group that is part of the dominant culture but differs in some important aspects • Can be labeled in negative ways (stereotypes) • Can lead to problems

  29. COUNTERCULTURES • Def: subculture deliberately and consciously opposed to central beliefs or attitudes of the dominant culture • Hippies, goths, punks, etc…

  30. ETHNOCENTRISM • Def: judging other in terms of one own’s cultural standards • Black vs. White • North vs. South • It’s okay to feel good about who you are • It’s not okay to think you’re better because of it

  31. CULTURAL UNIVERSALS • Def: general cultural traits that exist in all cultures • Sports, cooking, education, etc… • Cultural particulars: the ways in which a culture expresses universal traits