Presentation on theme: "Culture and the Culture Learning Process"— Presentation transcript:
1 Culture and the Culture Learning Process Chapter 3
2 Defining 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.
3 Culture in Everyday Use Terms commonly used to describe social groups that share important cultural elements are:SubcultureMicrocultureEthnic groupMinority groupPeople of color
4 SubcultureSubcultures 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.Some examples of subcultures are:Corporate cultureAdolescent cultureDrug cultureCulture of povertyAcademic culture
5 MicrocultureMicrocultures also share distinguishing characteristics, but tend to be more closely linked to the larger society, often serving in mediating roles; they often interpret and transmit the ideas, values, and institutions of the larger political community.Some examples of microcultures are:The familyThe workplaceThe classroomThe school
6 Minority GroupMembers 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 United States are:Racial minoritiesWomenPeople with disabilitiesLanguage minorities
7 Ethnic GroupMembers of ethnic groups share common heritage, history, celebrations and traditions, similar foods; and might speak a common language other than English. Loyalty to one’s ethnic identity can be very powerful.Some examples of ethnic groups are:Irish AmericanNative AmericanLebanese AmericanAfrican American
8 People 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 Puerto Rican, Mexican, or Salvadoran.
9 Culture 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
10 Humans Construct Culture Culture is one factor that determines the kinds of guidelines to which an individual is exposed.The concept of culture usually refers to things, both physical and mental, that are made or constructed by human beings, rather than to things that naturally occur in the environment.
11 Culture is SharedCulture is socially constructed by human beings in interaction with one another.Cultural ideas and understandings are shared by a group of people who recognize the knowledge, attitudes, and values of one another.cont.
12 Moreover, human beings agree on which cultural elements are better than others, arranging these in a hierarchy of value, which can also change over time.In nearly all instances, shared cultural identification is transmitted from one generation to the next.
13 Culture Is Both Objective and Subjective Objective culturePhysical artifactsLanguageClothingFoodDecorative objectsSubjective cultureAttitudesValuesNorms of behaviorSocial rolesMeaning of objective cultural elements
14 Two Ways to Understand Culture Culture-Specific Approaches:Helps to understand a particular cultural group, for example, Native AmericansA problem with this approach is that it does not account for in-group differencesCulture-General Approaches:Helps to understand how culture “works” in people’s lives; a universal perspectiveSuggests questions to ask of any culture
15 The 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.
17 Cultural Knowledge Is Transmitted by People and Experiences We gain the knowledge that contributes to our cultural identities through interaction with various socializing agents.These agents mediate our cultural knowledge in particular ways.
19 How We Learn Culture: Socialization Three stages of socializationPrimary socialization—of infants and young children by the family and early caregiversSecondary socialization—in childhood and adolescence, by the school, the religious affiliation, the peer group, the neighborhood, and the mediaAdult socialization—the workplace, travel, and assuming new roles in life
20 Some 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, as follows:
21 EthnocentrismThe tendency people have to evaluate others according to their own standards and experienceWhile this tendency can help bind people together, it can also become a serious obstacle when those who have internalized different ideas and behaviors begin to interact with one another.
22 PerceptionStimuli 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.
23 CategorizationCategorization 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.
24 Stereotypes 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.”
25 Some 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 just passive recipients but also actors in their environments.
26 Understanding Cultural Differences In a complex, pluralistic society like the United States, all people are in some ways multicultural.While we all draw on common sources of knowledge, we are socialized by different agents, with different perspectives on that knowledge.
28 Variations in Cultural Environments Although the sources of cultural identity are the same in all societies, the content in those sources may be different.Moreover, each community varies considerably in the number and character of its socializing agents.cont.
29 Given this complexity, it is wise to consider the possible cultural elements in our own lives and in the lives of others.Despite this potential for variation among individuals and within groups, there are similarities or generalizations that can be made about individuals who identify with particular groups.cont.
30 What is needed is a more sophisticated way of looking at diversity.
31 Such an approach to 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
32 Something 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