Presentation on theme: "Subcultures and Countercultures. Subcultures People who specialize in some occupation tend to develop a subculture- a world within the larger world."— Presentation transcript:
Subcultures and Countercultures
Subcultures People who specialize in some occupation tend to develop a subculture- a world within the larger world of the dominant culture Include any corner of life in which people's experiences lead them to have distinctive ways of looking at life or some aspect of it Teenagers, body builders, politicians, etc. Some US ethnic groups also form subcultures
Counterculture The values and norms of most subcultures blend in with mainstream society In some cases the group’s values and norms place it at odds with the dominant culture COUNTERCULTURE EX: motorcycle enthusiasts v. motorcycle gangs Enthusiasts- emphasize personal freedom and speed AND affirm cultural values of success through work or education-Subculture Gangs (Hells Angels for example) stress freedom and speed but also value dirtiness, and contempt toward women, work and education- Counterculture
Counterculture continued An assault on core values is always met with resistance. To affirm their own values, members of the mainstream culture may ridicule, isolate or attack members of the counter culture Mormons for example were driven out of several states before they finally settled in Utah
Symbolic Interactionism Explore how language, gestures, or values affect a culture Asks “how are values defined in the US? Are the US values weakening? Is the US experiencing a moral decline?
Traditional v. Secular Values Traditional values include the importance of religion and God absolute standards of good and evil Importance of the family Deference to authority Male dominance in economic and political life Intolerance of certain moral issues Secular values emphasize reason and logic
Three Hypotheses Wayne Baker America’s Crisis of Values investigates whether a crisis of values exists – Supported by 3 hypotheses The trend hypothesis- traditional values are losing groups to secular ones Comparative hypothesis- suggests that the values in the US are inferior to other democracies – Our traditional values result in higher rates of murder and poverty Distribution hypothesis- aka “the culture war thesis” – 2 morally opposed groups fight for control in the US
Functionalism- Communitarianism Considers how culture works to hold society together – Culture binds society through shared values and norms Communitarianism- a functionalist approach to the understanding of culture in the US – Theory suggests that for society to function properly it must have a balanced relationship between community, market and government – Members must see themselves as individuals and as parts of the community – NOTE: NOT COMMUNIST!
Conflict Theory Suggest that society is unified in a struggle for scarce resources – Unequal distribution of wealth means that some people win and others lose – How do we win?? Example: McDonald’s is successful bc it prizes efficiency, practicality, and affordability – Sociologist George Ritzer suggests that the US models itself after McDonald’s through a process called “McDonaldization”
McDonaldization Ritzer notes that in a capitalistic society, those who follow the McDonaldization process are likely to be financially successful – Efficiency – Calculability – Predictability – Technology Warns that the use of technology dehumanizes our culture – Machines over human contact