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A blueprint for living
UNDERSTANDING CULTURE
SELECTED TOPICS:
• TYPES OF CULTURE
• ELEMENTS OF CULTURE
• ETHNOCENTRISM
• CULTURAL RELATIVISM
UNDERSTANDING CULTURE
SELECTED TOPICS:
• SUB- & COUNTERCULTURES
• SOCIAL CONTROL
• IDEAL AND REAL CULTURE
• CULTURE CHANGE
CULTURE
KINDS OF CULTURE:
– 1) MATERIAL CULTURE
• ALL THE TANGIBLE PRODUCTS OF A SOCIETY
• EXAMPLES: HOUSING, AIRCRAFT, CL...
CULTURE SHOCK
TRAVELING TO A NEW AND DIFFERENT
LOCATION CAN CAUSE SOME PEOPLE TO
EXPERIENCE SEVERE, PERSONAL
DISORIENTATIO...
THE ELEMENTS OF CULTURE:
ELEMENTS OF CONSTRAINT OR FREEDOM?
• SYMBOLS
• GESTURES
• LANGUAGE
• VALUES AND BELIEFS
• SOCIAL ...
SYMBOLS 1. SYMBOLS ARE OFTEN
TAKEN FOR GRANTED
- THEY’RE ALL OVER.
2. SYMBOLS CAN BIND
PEOPLE TOGETHER
OR SEPARATE THEM.
3...
GESTURES
USING ONE’S BODY TO COMMUNICATE
• GESTURES ARE “CULTURE SPECIFIC”
• WE KNOW WHAT THE ABOVE GESTURES INDICATE
BECA...
LANGUAGE
LANGUAGE ALLOWS “CULTURAL TRANSMISSION” OR
THE PASSING ON OF CULTURE OVER GENERATIONS.
LANGUAGE PROVIDES A PRESEN...
OTHER POINTS ON INTEREST:
SAPIR-WHORF HYPOTHESIS STATES THAT LANGUAGE
DETERMINES OUR CONSCIOUSNESS AND, THUS, OUR
PERCEPTI...
VALUES & BELIEFS
....CULTURALLY DEFINED STANDARDS BY
WHICH PEOPLE JUDGE DESIRABILITY,
GOODNESS, AND BEAUTY, AND WHICH SERV...
SOCIAL NORMS
• TYPES OF NORMS:
– PROSCRIPTIVE (WHAT NOT TO DO!)
– PRESCRIPTIVE (WHAT TO DO!)
• OTHER WAYS TO BREAK DOWN NO...
THE TENDENCY TO JUDGE
OTHER CULTURES BY THE
STANDARDS OF ONE’S OWN
CULTURE
CULTURAL RELATIVISM
ETHNOCENTRISM:
SOCIAL CONTROL
• SOCIAL CONTROL - MEANS BY WHICH MEMBERS
OF SOCIETY ENCOURAGE CONFORMITY TO NORMS.
WHY DO WE CONFORM?
SOCIAL CONTROL UPON US
• THE ROLE OF SOCIAL SANCTIONS:
– POSITIVE SANCTIONS (REWARDS)
– NEGATIVE SANCTIONS (PUNISHMENTS)
–...
SOCIAL CONTROL:
HOW IT IS CARRIED OUT?
FORMAL INFORMAL
NEGATIVEPOSITIVE
THE COURT
SYSTEM;
PRISON
WAVING OF
A FINGER; A
“LO...
IN A DIVERSE CULTURE....IN A DIVERSE CULTURE....
THERE WILL BE DIFFERENCES IN DEGREES OF ACCEPTANCE AND
CONFORMITY WITH WI...
IN A DIVERSE CULTURE....IN A DIVERSE CULTURE....
THERE WILL ALWAYS BE DEEP DIVISIONS AMONG
SOCIAL GROUPS
• COUNTERCULTURES...
IDEAL VS. REAL CULTURE
WE TEND TO IDEALIZE AMERICAN CULTURE WHICH ACTUALLY
DISTORTS SOCIAL REALITY.....BUT THINGS SELDOM A...
CULTURE CHANGE
• INVENTION
– PROCESS OF CREATING NEW CULTURE
• DISCOVERY
– UNDERSTANDING SOMETHING NOT FULLY
UNDERSTOOD BE...
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Culture

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Culture

  1. 1. A blueprint for living
  2. 2. UNDERSTANDING CULTURE SELECTED TOPICS: • TYPES OF CULTURE • ELEMENTS OF CULTURE • ETHNOCENTRISM • CULTURAL RELATIVISM
  3. 3. UNDERSTANDING CULTURE SELECTED TOPICS: • SUB- & COUNTERCULTURES • SOCIAL CONTROL • IDEAL AND REAL CULTURE • CULTURE CHANGE
  4. 4. CULTURE KINDS OF CULTURE: – 1) MATERIAL CULTURE • ALL THE TANGIBLE PRODUCTS OF A SOCIETY • EXAMPLES: HOUSING, AIRCRAFT, CLOTHING, ETC. – 2) NONMATERIAL CULTURE • ALL THE INTANGIBLE PRODUCTS OF A SOCIETY • EXAMPLES: LAWS AND PUNISHMENTS, IDEAS, VALUES, BELIEF SYSTEMS, NORMS, ATTITUDES ....ALL THE BELIEFS, VALUES, BEHAVIOR, AND MATERIAL OBJECTS THAT DEFINE A PEOPLE’S WAY OF LIFE AND ARE PASSED ON.
  5. 5. CULTURE SHOCK TRAVELING TO A NEW AND DIFFERENT LOCATION CAN CAUSE SOME PEOPLE TO EXPERIENCE SEVERE, PERSONAL DISORIENTATION, OFTEN REFERRED TO AS.... ONE REASON FOR SUCH A REACTION....THE FACT THAT PEOPLE INTERNALIZE THE ELEMENTS OF THEIR OWN CULTURE AND THEN COME TO KNOW THE WORLD ONLY BY THOSE STANDARDS.
  6. 6. THE ELEMENTS OF CULTURE: ELEMENTS OF CONSTRAINT OR FREEDOM? • SYMBOLS • GESTURES • LANGUAGE • VALUES AND BELIEFS • SOCIAL NORMS I WONDER IF HUMANS HAVE CULTURE TOO???? LET’S EXAMINE EACH ONE.....
  7. 7. SYMBOLS 1. SYMBOLS ARE OFTEN TAKEN FOR GRANTED - THEY’RE ALL OVER. 2. SYMBOLS CAN BIND PEOPLE TOGETHER OR SEPARATE THEM. 3. SYMBOLS ALLOW PEOPLE TO MAKE SENSE OF THEIR LIVES. ANYTHING THAT CAN CARRY A MEANING.
  8. 8. GESTURES USING ONE’S BODY TO COMMUNICATE • GESTURES ARE “CULTURE SPECIFIC” • WE KNOW WHAT THE ABOVE GESTURES INDICATE BECAUSE OUR CULTURE TEACHES US TO APPLY CERTAIN MEANINGS TO THEM..BUT WHAT ABOUT A STRANGER?
  9. 9. LANGUAGE LANGUAGE ALLOWS “CULTURAL TRANSMISSION” OR THE PASSING ON OF CULTURE OVER GENERATIONS. LANGUAGE PROVIDES A PRESENT, PAST AND FUTURE. LANGUAGE ALLOWS FOR UNDERSTANDING. LANGUAGE ALLOWS GOAL-ORIENTED BEHAVIOR. ....A SYSTEM OF SYMBOLS THAT ALLOWS MEMBERS OF A SOCIETY TO COMMUNICATE WITH ONE ANOTHER. IS IT THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT OF CULTURE?
  10. 10. OTHER POINTS ON INTEREST: SAPIR-WHORF HYPOTHESIS STATES THAT LANGUAGE DETERMINES OUR CONSCIOUSNESS AND, THUS, OUR PERCEPTIONS OF LIFE AROUND US. A PERSON’S EXPERIENCE WITH SNOW IS LIMITED BY THE NUMBER OF WAYS A PERSON CAN DESCRIBE IT.
  11. 11. VALUES & BELIEFS ....CULTURALLY DEFINED STANDARDS BY WHICH PEOPLE JUDGE DESIRABILITY, GOODNESS, AND BEAUTY, AND WHICH SERVE AS BROAD GUIDELINES FOR SOCIAL LIVING. SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY, SCHEMA FORMATION THEORY, AND THE SOCIALIZATION PROCESSES PROVIDE INSIGHT AS TO HOW IT IS WE ADOPT OUR VALUES AND BELIEFS SOCIAL VALUES AND GENERAL BELIEFS ARE REFLECTED IN THE NORMS FOUND IN A SOCIETY SUCCESS, HARD WORK, PROGRESS, FREEDOM, EQUALITY
  12. 12. SOCIAL NORMS • TYPES OF NORMS: – PROSCRIPTIVE (WHAT NOT TO DO!) – PRESCRIPTIVE (WHAT TO DO!) • OTHER WAYS TO BREAK DOWN NORMS: – MORES (OF GREAT MORAL SIGNIFICANCE) – FOLKWAYS (OF LITTLE MORAL SIGNIFICANCE) – TABOOS (VIOLATIONS WHICH ARE HORRIFIC) ....RULES AND EXPECTATIONS BY WHICH A SOCIETY GUIDES THE BEHAVIOR OF ITS MEMBERS.
  13. 13. THE TENDENCY TO JUDGE OTHER CULTURES BY THE STANDARDS OF ONE’S OWN CULTURE CULTURAL RELATIVISM ETHNOCENTRISM:
  14. 14. SOCIAL CONTROL • SOCIAL CONTROL - MEANS BY WHICH MEMBERS OF SOCIETY ENCOURAGE CONFORMITY TO NORMS. WHY DO WE CONFORM?
  15. 15. SOCIAL CONTROL UPON US • THE ROLE OF SOCIAL SANCTIONS: – POSITIVE SANCTIONS (REWARDS) – NEGATIVE SANCTIONS (PUNISHMENTS) – FORMAL AND INFORMAL AS WELL • HOW DO WE KNOW THAT SOCIAL CONTROL IS IN EFFECT? – GUILT (PERSONALIZED DISCOMFORT) – SHAME (PUBLIC DISAPPROVAL) – “DEGRADATION CEREMONIES”
  16. 16. SOCIAL CONTROL: HOW IT IS CARRIED OUT? FORMAL INFORMAL NEGATIVEPOSITIVE THE COURT SYSTEM; PRISON WAVING OF A FINGER; A “LOOK” RECEIVING A REWARD OR AN AWARD IN PUBLIC A FAVORING LOOK, OR AN INFORMAL COMMENT
  17. 17. IN A DIVERSE CULTURE....IN A DIVERSE CULTURE.... THERE WILL BE DIFFERENCES IN DEGREES OF ACCEPTANCE AND CONFORMITY WITH WIDER HELD NOTIONS • SUBCULTURES – groups whose members are different enough to set themselves apart from the wider society – not necessarily bad, but just different – clubs, youth groups, bodybuilders, etc.
  18. 18. IN A DIVERSE CULTURE....IN A DIVERSE CULTURE.... THERE WILL ALWAYS BE DEEP DIVISIONS AMONG SOCIAL GROUPS • COUNTERCULTURES – groups whose specific culture components are often at great odds with the wider society, often resulting in conflict – often perceived as threats to the social order – the KKK, some Skinhead groups, and so forth
  19. 19. IDEAL VS. REAL CULTURE WE TEND TO IDEALIZE AMERICAN CULTURE WHICH ACTUALLY DISTORTS SOCIAL REALITY.....BUT THINGS SELDOM ARE THAT GOOD! • IDEAL CULTURE – CULTURAL IDEALS HELD OUT AS EXAMPLES OF HOW THINGS SHOULD (OR COULD) BE. • REAL CULTURE – WHAT THINGS ARE REALLY LIKE FOR A PEOPLE IN A GIVEN CULTURE. • EXAMPLES: – MARRIAGES OFTEN FALL SHORT FROM WHAT WE HAVE BEEN TAUGHT TO BELIEVE – FRIENDSHIPS OFTEN FAIL US WHEN MOST NEEDED – EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IS A VALUE, BUT SELDOM REALITY WHEN EXAMINED
  20. 20. CULTURE CHANGE • INVENTION – PROCESS OF CREATING NEW CULTURE • DISCOVERY – UNDERSTANDING SOMETHING NOT FULLY UNDERSTOOD BEFORE • DIFFUSION – SPREAD OF ELEMENTS FROM ONE CULTURE TO ANOTHER CULTURAL LEVELING - PROCESS IN WHICH CULTURES BECOME SIMILAR DUE TO EXPANDING INDUSTRIALIZATION AND THE SPREAD OF TECHNOLOGY.

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