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Defining Culture Spring 2009. LOGO What is culture?

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Presentation on theme: "Defining Culture Spring 2009. LOGO What is culture?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Defining Culture Spring 2009

2 LOGO What is culture?

3 LOGO The definition of culture Before 1920, there were only 6 definitions on culture in the West. The number was increased to more than 150 in the 1950s. Until 1980s, the definitions on culture from different academic fields and disciplines are over 450 in number.

4 LOGO Culture is the evolving way of life of a group of persons, consisting of a shared set of practices associated with a shared set of products, based on a shared set of perspectives on the world, and set within specific social contexts. ------Patrick R. Moran Teaching Culture: Perspectives in Practice 文化是人类群体不断演进的生活方式,包含一套共 有的生活实践体系,这一体系与一系列共有的文化产品 相关,以一套共有的世界观念为基础,并置于特定的社 会情境之中。

5 LOGO Products communities perspectives Persons practices Culture:an Culture:an evolving way of life

6 LOGO The evolving way of life reflects the dynamic nature of culture---that there is a history and tradition to the products, practices, perspectives, and the communities of the culture. It also stresses that the persons of the culture are in the process of actively creating and changing products, practices, perspectives, and communities.evolving way of life

7 LOGO Cultural products Products are all the artifacts produced or adopted by the members of the culture, including those in the environment, such as plants and animals. Products range from tangible objects---such as tools, clothing, written documents, or buildings---to more elaborate yet still perceptible constructions such as written and spoken language, music, or complex institutions of family, education, economy, politics, and religion. Products, both tangible and intangible, are located and organized in physical places. 文化产品四要素: 物质产品( artifacts ) 居所( places ) 机制( institutions ) 艺术形态( art forms )

8 LOGO Cultural practices Practices comprise the full range of actions and interactions that mem bers of the culture carry out, individually or with others. These include language and other forms of communication and self-expression as well as actions associated with social groups and use of products. These practices are both verbal and nonverbal and include interpretations of time, space, and the context of communication in social situations. Practices also involve notions of appropriateness and inappropriateness, including taboos.

9 LOGO Cultural practices Cultural practices comprise all the actions that members of the culture carry out as part of their way of life, including language. These can be silent, solitary activities, such as preparing breakfast, doing household chore, taking a siesta, or walking the dog, as well as highly interactive exchanges with other people, such as negotiating a purchase price, making conversation over meal, participating in formal meetings, or gossiping. In addition, there are collective tasks, such as organizing and carrying our a parade, a criminal investigation, a concert, or a civic demonstration. These actions involve people engaged in communication, giving and receiving messages, transacting meaning, achieving ends.

10 LOGO Cultural perspectives Perspectives represent the perceptions, beliefs, values, and attitudes that underlie the products and that guide persons and communities in the practices of the culture. These perspectives can be explicit but often they are implicit, outside conscious awareness. Taken as a whole, perspectives provide meaning and constitute a unique outlook or orientation toward life-- -a worldview. 文化观念分为四类: Perceptions: what we perceive, what we ignore; what we notice or disregard 我们感知的内容、忽略的内容、注意到或不经意的内容 Beliefs: what we hold to be true or untrue 我们相信是真实或不真实的内容 Values: what we hold to be right/wrong, good/evil, desired/undesired, proper/improper, normal/abnormal, appropriate/inappropriate,etc. 我们坚信 是正确或错误的,善或恶的,期望或不期望的,合宜或不合宜的,正常或异 常的,恰当或不恰当的 Attitudes: our mental and affective dispositions---out frame of mind, our outlook---charged with feeling or emotion 我们的精神和情感秉性 --- 我们心智 的构架,我们的观念 --- 与情感或情绪有关的

11 LOGO Cultural perspectives perceptionsbeliefsvaluesattitudespractices Time is a substance. Time can be quantified. Time should be spent well. It is right to be on time. Punctuality promptness Being “productive”;a rriving on time Tacitexplicit

12 LOGO Communities Communities include the specific social contexts, circumstances, and groups in which members carry out cultural practices. These contexts range from broad communities---such as national culture, language, gender, race, religion, socio-economic class, or generation---to more narrowly defined groupings---a local political party, a social club, a sports team, a charity organization, coworkers, or family.

13 LOGO Persons Persons constitute the individual members who embody the culture and its communities in unique ways. Each person is a distinct mix of communities and experiences, and all persons take on a particular cultural identity that both links them to and separates them from other members of the culture. Culture resides both in the individual members of the culture and in the various social groups or communities that these persons form to carry out their way of life. Culture is thus both individual and collective---psychological and social.

14 LOGO When approaching a cultural phenomenon, We should always ask the following five questions: What are the key products? What are the physical settings, the artifacts, the social institutions, the art forms? What are the essential practices? What do people say and do? How do they act and interact with one another? What are the central perspectives? What are the underlying perceptions, values, beliefs, or attitudes? Which specific communities are involved? What groups participate directly? What groups participate indirectly? How do individual persons respond? Who are the people that participate? What is their personal relationship with this phenomenon?

15 LOGO Analyzing the cultural phenomena A restaurant A marriage ceremony

16 Thank you!

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