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What is Culture? Culture is the values, beliefs, behavior, and material objects that together form a peoples way of life.

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Presentation on theme: "What is Culture? Culture is the values, beliefs, behavior, and material objects that together form a peoples way of life."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is Culture? Culture is the values, beliefs, behavior, and material objects that together form a peoples way of life.

2 Types of Culture Non-material culture – intangible human creations Material culture – tangible creations of a society Shapes what we do Helps form our personalities Informs our definition of what is normal

3 Culture Shock Personal disorientation when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life. It is the inability to read meanings in a new surroundings.

4 Components of Culture Symbols Language Values and Beliefs Norms Ideal and Real Culture

5 What do symbols mean

6 Components of culture Symbols: A symbol is anything that carries a particular meaning recognized by people who share a culture (a flag, a word, a flashing red light, a raised fist, an animal etc). * non-verbal gestures can be very symbolic and diverse. -Diverse meanings can be given to different variations of the same object, for example, the winking of an eye.

7 Language Sick Dope Bomb For Schizzle my Snizzle Fo sho Whack My bad Dawg or is it Dog, or is it Dogg (Snoop) Give me 5 more words that carry significance in teenage vernacular.

8 Components of culture (contd) Language A system of symbols that allows people to communicate with one another. Function of language: -Enhances communication (lets make sure were on the same page) -Ensures continuity of culture (story telling) -Identifies societies or groups (group specific words) -Determines how a person is perceived by others (proper grammar vs slang)

9 Components of culture (contd) Values and Beliefs -VALUES are culturally defined standards by which people assess desirability, goodness, and beauty and that serve as broad guidelines for social living. BELIEFS are specific statements that people hold to be true (e.g. The possibility that the US will one day have a female president - based on the shared value of equal opportunity)

10 Beauty – what are our values in America Peek-a-boo Are these beautiful people by Americas standards??

11 Is this beauty?

12 American Beauty – what do we value as beauty today

13 Components of culture (contd) - Norms are the agreed-upon expectations and rules by which a culture guides the behavior of its members in any given situation. TYPES PROSCRIPTIVE Should nots, prohibited PRESCRIPTIVE Shoulds, prescribed like medicine

14 Types of Norms There are four basic types of norms that sociologists commonly refer to: folkways, mores, taboos, and laws. Folkways, sometimes known as conventions or customs, are standards of behavior that are socially approved but not morally significant. For example, belching loudly after eating dinner at someone else's home breaks an American folkway. Mores are norms of morality. Breaking mores, like attending church in the nude, will offend most people of a culture. Certain behaviors are considered Taboo, meaning a culture absolutely forbids them, like incest in U.S. culture. Finally, Laws are a formal body of rules enacted by the state and backed by the power of the state. Virtually all taboos, like child abuse, are enacted into law, although not all mores are. For example, wearing a bikini to church may be offensive, but it is not against the law.

15 Folkways Folkways are often referred to as "customs." They are standards of behavior that are socially approved but not morally significant. They are norms for everyday behavior that people follow for the sake of tradition or convenience. Breaking a folkway does not usually have serious consequences. Cultural forms of dress or food habits are examples of folkways. In America, if someone belched loudly while eating at the dinner table with other people, he or she would be breaking a folkway. It is culturally appropriate to not belch at the dinner table, however if this folkway is broken, there are no moral or legal consequences.

16 Mores Mores are strict norms that control moral and ethical behavior. Mores are norms based on definitions of right and wrong. Unlike folkways, mores are morally significant. People feel strongly about them and violating them typically results in disapproval. Religious doctrines are an example of mores. For instance, if someone were to attend church in the nude, he or she would offend most people of that culture and would be morally shunned. Also, parents who believe in the more that only married people should live together will disapprove of their daughter living with her boyfriend. They may consider the daughters actions a violation of their moral guidelines.

17 Taboos A taboo is a norm that society holds so strongly that violating it results in extreme disgust. Often times the violator of the taboo is considered unfit to live in that society. For instance, in some Muslim cultures, eating pork is taboo because the pig is considered unclean. At the more extreme end, incest and cannibalism are taboos in most countries.

18 LAWS Laws are a formal body of rules enacted by the state and backed by the power of the state. Virtually all Taboos, like child abuse, are enacted into law, some Mores are, but not all. Folkways are never laws. For example, wearing a bikini to church may be offensive, but it is not against the law. Many laws (unlike mores) do not have a moral evaluation connected to them. Not stopping completely at a stop sign is against the law, but you will not be judged immoral for doing it. Definition - A body of rules of conduct of binding legal force and effect, prescribed, recognized, and enforced by a controlling authority.

19 SOCIAL CONTROL Various means by which members of society encourage conformity to norms GUILT A negative judgment we make about ourselves i.e. internal compass SHAME The painful sense that others disapprove of our actions i.e. must value their opinion to feel shame

20 Cultural Diversity High culture Cultural patterns that distinguish a societys elite Popular culture Cultural patterns that are widespread among societys population Subculture Cultural patterns set apart some segment of societys population Counterculture Cultural patterns that strongly oppose those widely accepted within a society

21 High Culture Museum, art gallery, opera, etc

22 Pop Culture The latest trend

23 Sub Culture Rave Parties Scooter Club Old car Club Gangs

24 Counter Culture

25 CULTURAL CHANGES - This takes place in 3 ways: INVENTION - creating new cultural elements Telephone or airplane DISCOVERY – recognizing and understanding something already in existence X-rays or DNA DIFFUSION – the spread of cultural traits from one society to another Jazz music or much of the English language

26 Ethnocentrism The practice of judging another culture by the standards of ones own culture Cultural relativism The practice of judging a culture by its own standards Other Concepts:


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