Presentation on theme: "Culture and the Culture Learning Process"— Presentation transcript:
1Culture and the Culture Learning Process Chapter TwoCulture and the Culture Learning Process
2Defining Culture Culture is socially constructed. Culture is shared by its members.Culture is both objective and subjective.Culture may be defined by geography, ethnicity, language, religion, history, or other important social characteristics.Culture is socially transmitted.
3Culture in Everyday Use Terms commonly used to describe social groups that share important cultural elements are:SubcultureMicrocultureEthnic groupMinority groupPeople of color
4Subculture Some examples of subcultures are: Corporate culture Adolescent cultureDrug cultureCulture of povertyAcademic cultureSubcultures share characteristics that distinguish them from the larger society in which they are embedded; these characteristics may be a set of ideas and practices or some demographic similarity.
5MicrocultureMicrocultures also share distinguishing characteristics but tend to be more closely linked to the larger society, often serving in mediating roles.Some examples of microcultures are:The familyThe workplaceThe classroomThe school
6Ethnic Group Some examples of ethnic groups are: Irish American Members of ethnic groups share a common heritage, a common history, and often a common language; loyalty to one’s ethnic identity can be very powerful.Some examples of ethnic groups are:Irish AmericanNative AmericanLebanese AmericanAfrican American
7Minority Group Some examples of minority groups in the U.S. are: Members of minority groups occupy a subordinate position in a society; they may be separated from the dominant society by disapproval and discrimination.Some examples of minority groups in the U.S. are:Racial minoritiesWomenPeople with disabilitiesLanguage minorities
8People of ColorThis term refers to members of non- white minority groups; it is often preferred to the term “minority group,” but does not clearly identify specific loyalties.For example, native Spanish-speakers may identify themselves as Hispanic people of color, but their cultural identity may be as Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, or Salvadorans.
9Culture Solves Common Human Problems Means of communication—languageDetermination of power—statusRegulation of reproduction—familySystems of rules—governmentRelationship to nature—magic, myth, religion, scienceConception of time—temporalitySignificant lessons—historyCultural representations—music, story, dance, art
10The Contributions of Cross-Cultural Psychology While sociologists and anthropologists study groups and psychologists study individuals, cross-cultural psychologists study the interactions that occur when individuals from different groups meet.Cross-cultural psychologists may approach this problem from one or both of two perspectives:Continued…
11Culture Is Both Objective and Subjective Objective culturePhysical artifactsLanguageClothingFoodDecorative objectsSubjective cultureAttitudesValuesNorms of behaviorSocial rolesMeaning of objective cultural elements
12Two Ways to Understand Culture Culture-specific approachesHelp to understand a particular cultural group (for example, Native Americans)Do not account for in-group differencesCulture-general approachesHelp to understand how culture “works” in people’s lives; a universal perspectiveSuggest questions to ask of any culture
13The Culture Learning Process Sources of cultural knowledge and identityIndividuals in complex societies like the United States tend to identify themselves as belonging to various cultural and social groups, depending on their personal biographies.There are twelve major sources of cultural identity that influence teaching and learning.
15Cultural Knowledge is Transmitted by People and Experiences We gain the knowledge that contributes to our cultural identities through interaction with various socializing agentsThese agents mediate our cultural knowledge in particular ways
17How We Learn Culture: Socialization Three stages of socializationPrimary socialization—of infants and young children by the family and early care-giversSecondary socialization—in childhood and adolescence, by the school, the religious affiliation, the peer group, the neighborhood, and the mediaAdult socialization—the workplace, travel, assuming new roles in life
18Some Results of Socialization Because the process of socialization is intended to cause individuals to internalize knowledge, attitudes, values, and beliefs, it has several results which should not be surprising: Ethnocentrism Perception Categorization Stereotypes
19EthnocentrismEthnocentrism is the tendency people have to evaluate others according to their own standards and experienceWhile this tendency can help bind people together, it can also present serious obstacles to cross-cultural interactions
20PerceptionStimuli received by our senses would overwhelm us if it weren’t somehow reduced; thus…What we perceive—what we see, hear, feel, taste, and smell—is shaped in part by our culture.
21CategorizationCategorization is the cognitive process by which all human beings simplify their world by grouping similar stimuli.Our categories give meaning to our perceptions.A prototype image best characterizes the meaning of a category.Example: for the category “bird,” we usually think of robins, not chickens
22Stereotypes Stereotypes are socially-constructed categories of people. They usually obscure differences within groups.They are frequently negative, and play to ethnocentric ideas of “the other.”
23Some Limits on Socialization While socialization is a powerful process, it does have limits.It is limited by a child’s physical limits.It is limited because it is never finished, and thus never absolute; it can be changed.It is limited because human beings are not passive recipients, but also actors in their environments.
24Understanding Cultural Differences In a complex, pluralistic society like the United States, all people are in some way multicultural.While we all draw on common sources of knowledge, we are socialized by different agents, with different perspectives on that knowledge.
26Variations in Cultural Environments Although the sources of cultural identity are the same in all society, the content in those sources may be different.Moreover, each community varies considerably in the number and character of its socializing agents.Continued…
27 Given this complexity, it is wise to consider the immense variation of possible cultural elements in our own lives and in the lives of others.Despite this enormous potential for variation among individuals and within groups, there are similarities or generalizations that can be made about individuals who identify with particular groups.What is needed is a more sophisticated way of looking at diversity.
28Building a positive attitude toward diversity involves several elements: Questioning the “dominant model,” or the prototype imageQuestioning stereotypesLooking for commonalities among our differencesThinking of differences as resources to learn from
29Something to Think About By ignoring the cultural and social forms that are authorized by youth and simultaneously empower and disempower them, educators risk complicity in silencing and negating their students. This is unwittingly accomplished by refusing to recognize the importance of those sites and social practices outside of schools that actively shape student experiences and through which students often define and construct their sense of identity, politics, and culture.--Giroux and Simon