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The Basics of Culture
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  1. The Basics of Culture World Studies

  2. What is culture? • Culture is the ways of life shared by members of a society or part of society. • Culture includes a set of learned beliefs, values, and behaviors. • A person can be a part of many cultures or sub-cultures. • Ex. We are all a part of an American culture, but within the American culture there are many sub-cultures…what are some of them? • Gothic, African American, Southern, Hip-Hop, Surfer

  3. Norms and Values Norms Values What does a society believe to be right, good, or desirable. Example: freedom, education, wealth • Rules that guide behavior • Can be written (formal) or unwritten (informal). • Example: Laws, giving up your seat for an old person.

  4. Elements (parts) of Culture • Belief Systems (Christianity, ) • Language (Spanish, Ebonics) • Social Structures (family structure, class systems) • Institutions (education, marriage, government ) • Material Elements • Food (sushi) • Art (graffiti) • Music (mariachi) • Clothing (Kente cloth) • Tools (cell phone, hoe) • Symbols (flag)

  5. How does culture change? • Innovation- Something new is created to meet a need. • Ex. The automobile. • Diffusion- The spread of ideas from one culture to another. • Ex. Tacos or sushi in the U.S.A.; Mc D’s in China. • Acculturation- A culture changes because it accepts an idea or innovation. • Ex. Traditional clothing is replaced by t-shirts and jeans.

  6. Cultural Diffusion Mc D’s in India Mc D’s in China

  7. Cultural Sensitivity • Ethnocentrism- the belief that your culture/ beliefs are better than someone else’s. • It is important not to judge other cultures by our standards. • Just because another culture eats something that we would not or listens to music that we don’t does not make them any more or less civilized. • Try to find similarities between cultures and learn to appreciate the differences.