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What is Culture?  Culture is the values, beliefs, behavior, and material objects that together form a people’s 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 people’s way of life."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is Culture?  Culture is the values, beliefs, behavior, and material objects that together form a people’s 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 we’re 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 America’s 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  Sociologists speak of at least four types of norms: 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 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

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

17 High Culture Museum, art gallery, opera, etc

18 Pop Culture The latest trend

19 Sub Culture * Rave * Ecstasy

20 Counter Culture

21 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

22  Ethnocentrism The practice of judging another culture by the standards of one’s own culture  Cultural relativism The practice of judging a culture by its own standards Other Concepts:


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