Parillo, Chapter 2 Culture and Social Structure
The Concept of Culture • Definition: Culture consists of customs, ideas, language, norms, physical objects, values, and social institutions. • Material Culture; Physical objects • Nonmaterial Culture; abstract human creations • Culture shapes our behavior, … thinking
Culture Cont. • Norms: Culture’s rules of behavior • Internalized • Society’s fundamental expectations • (Soc 1) Folkways, … Mores • Acculturation • To learn a society’s cultural patterns • Values • Figure 2.1, Robin Williams 15 values
Culture and the Construction of Reality • Culture, Language, and Reality • Reality is related to our culture • Symbols of culture, … words • Linguistic Relativity (Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis) • We interpret our world, … reality by language • Language determines how we interpret reality
Culture Cont. • The Thomas Theorem • If people define situations as real, they are real in their consequences • The vicious-circle phenomenon • People create a culturally determined world of reality, - Prejudice, . Discrimination, . Prejudice • Cultural Transmission, …(South Pacific) • “We have to be carefully taught to hate…”
Cultural Change • Culture changes through, … discoveries, .. Inventions, .. Technology, .. Innovations, ..natural / environmental events • Cultural Diffusion • Cultures are influenced by other cultures • Borrowed Cultural Elements • Ralph Lipton, “100 percent American” • Culture Contact • Immigration
Subcultures • Chain Migration • Settling in an area where friends, .. family live • Parallel Social Institutions • Duplicate social institutions, (Banks, Clubs, ...) • Ethnic subcultures • Americanized subcultures, usually first and second generation • Marginality, … neither ethnic nor American
Subcultures Cont. • Ethnogenesis: an adaptation to the core culture • A group consciousness unknown in the ”old country” • Modification of immigrant cultural elements • Adaptation of core cultural elements • Convergent Subcultures • Tend toward assimilation to the core culture • Persistent Subcultures, … Unassimilated
Structural Conditions • Social Stratification • The hierarchical classification of members of society based on the unequal distribution of • Resources, … Power, … Prestige • Resources, … income, property, prestige • Power, … ability to influence or control others • Prestige, … ones status, achieved or ascribed
Social Class • One’s place in the social hierarchy • Similar income, property, power, status, lifestyle • Socioeconomic Scale (SEC) • Education, … Income, … Occupation • Upper Class to Lower Class • W. Lloyd Warner: Reputational method • Minority Social Class status • Usually low, … lowest
Ethnicity and Social Class • Milton Gordon’s explanation of our pluralistic society • Four factors that help form subsocieties • Ethnicity (also Race) • Social Class • Rural or Urban residence • Regionalism • Combined, … form an Ethclass • The intersection of the stratification by race, ethnicity and the stratification of social class
Blaming the Poor or Society • E. Franklin Frazier (1932) • Theorized of the disorganization and pathology of lower class culture • Daniel P. Moynihan (1965) • Presented his work on the culture-of-poverty • Moynihan argued: … family disorganization was the core cause of lower class (racial, ethnic) problems • “…At the heart of the deterioration … (p. 50) • Black males occupied a unstable place …
Blaming the Poor Cont. • See quoted material on pp. 50 and 51 • Oscar Lewis, The Children of Sanchez • The Perpetuation of Poverty, … “The culture of poverty, … (p.51). • Criticisms of the Culture of Poverty theory • Is it cultural determinism? • Is it economic, structural determinism?
Intergroup Conflict • Robert E. Park: Race-relation Cycle • Four Stages • Contact: between groups • Competition for economic, social resources • Adjustment or Accommodation • Eventual assimilation and amalgamation • Race referred to racial and ethnic groups • Assimilation may be halted for a time but eventually all groups would assimilate
Robert E. Park Cont. • Park’s theory fit NW Europeans nicely • Not testable because of … “eventually …” • Lack of assimilation attributable to temporary obstacles • Parks theory may not (does not) apply to all societies
Cultural Differentiation • Similarities between immigrant groups and the dominant core tend to promote harmonious relations and assimilation. • The greater and more visible the cultural differentiation, the greater the likelihood that conflict will occur.
Structural Differentiation • How structural conditions affect intergroup relations • Functionalist: How economic and technological conditions facilitate minority integration • With a healthy economy immigrants find an easier time to get established • A healthy economy provides occupational mobility
Ethnic Stratification Theories • Lieberson: Power Differential Theory • Intergroup relations depend on the relative power of the migrant and indigenous groups • Which group becomes superordinate and which become subordinate governs ethnic relations • If the newcomer posses superior technology, … ? • If the indigenous group has superior technology and power, … ?
Internal Colonialism Theory • Robert Blauner (1960) • Structural relations of Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans reflect a colonial relationship • Example: Black Ghettoes, .. three features • Blacks forced to live in ghettoes, (North) • Ethnic culture was destroyed • Controlled from without economically, politically and administratively (p. 60)
Assimilation Theories • Majority Conformity theory (Anglo Conformity), … A+B+C = A • English Influence, … language, institutions, values, attitudes and culture • Americanization movement, … early 1900s • Encourage immigrants to become 100% American • Government agencies and private organizations • Divest themselves of ethnic characteristics
Types of Assimilation • Milton Gordon: (1964) Assimilation has several phases: • Cultural Assimilation, (acculturation) • Structural Assimilation, (primary relations) • Marital Assimilation, (amalgamation) • Identificational Assimilation (like the Core) • Attitude Receptional Assimilation (less prejudice) • Behavioral Receptional Assimilation • Civic Assimilation, (absence of conflict)
Milton Gordon Cont. • Gordon, … Structural Assimilation is seen as the “keystone” to other phases • Some sociologists disagree, … “cultural assimilation does not lead to structural assimilation • Secondary Structural Assimilation • Impersonal, public social interaction • Primary Structural Assimilation • Involves close personal interaction • [Note the Bogardus Social Distance Scale]
Melting Pot Theory • Amalgamation (Melting Pot) Theory • A+B +C = D “E Pluribus Unum” • J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, “Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men.” • Israel Zangwill (1908), “America is Gods Crucible, the great Melting Pot where all the races of Europe are melting and reforming - …” • Did We Melt? Did We All Melt?
Assimilation Theories Cont. • Ruby Jo Kennedy: Triple Melting Pot • Intermarriage within major religious groupings • Anglo-Conformity • Take on Anglo-Saxon (English) cultural characteristics • A+B+C = A • Suggests the “Melting Pot” concept is a myth • The American is not a composite or synthesis of various ethnic elements
Accommodation (Pluralistic) Theory • Pluralistic Theory recognizes the persistence of racial and ethnic diversity • A+B+C = A+B+C • Horace Kallen (1915) “Democracy versus the Melting Pot • Rejected Assimilation and Amalgamation theories • Each group tends to preserve its own language, institutions, and cultural heritage • Democracy gives them the right to do so
Pluralistic Theory Cont. • Pluralistic Reality • From its beginning, America has been a pluralistic country • A+B+C = A+B+C • Cultural Pluralism: two or more culturally distinct groups • Structural Pluralism: the coexistence of racial and ethnic groups in subsocieties within social-class and regional boundaries • [ A+B+C = A+b+c ]
White Culture? • Is There a White Culture? • If there is, is it independent of American culture? Is it identifiable as separate from American culture? (See quote on p. 70)
Key Terms • Accommodation (Pluralistic Theory) • Acculturation • Amalgamation (Melting Pot Theory) • Americanization movement • Anglo-conformity • Assimilation (Majority conformity) Theory • Chain migration • Convergent subcultures • Cultural assimilation
Key Terms Cont. • Cultural diffusion • Cultural pluralism • Cultural transmission • Culture [ An American culture? ] • Culture of poverty • Economic determinism • Ethclass • Ethnic stratification • Ethnic subcultures
Key Terms Cont. • Internal-colonialism Theory • Linguistic relativity • Marginality • Marital Assimilation (Amalgamation) • Norms • Parallel social institutions • Persistent subcultures • Power-differential theory • Social stratification
Key Terms Cont. • Structural assimilation • Structural pluralism • Thomas theorem • Vicious-circle phenomenon