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CULTURAL DIVERSITY CHAPTER 2. TRUTH OR FICTION  All cultures are the same.  TRUE: All consist of the same basic elements; religion housing, and family.

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Presentation on theme: "CULTURAL DIVERSITY CHAPTER 2. TRUTH OR FICTION  All cultures are the same.  TRUE: All consist of the same basic elements; religion housing, and family."— Presentation transcript:


2 TRUTH OR FICTION  All cultures are the same.  TRUE: All consist of the same basic elements; religion housing, and family  FALES: Societies have created many different cultures in which language, values, beliefs, and practices vary a great deal  Cultural practices are only dictated by wealthy societies.  TRUE: Wealthy societies produce most of the culture and entertainment that is popular around the world, therefore dictating many cultural practices.  FALSE: Each society dictates its own cultural practices.  Sociologists consider western culture superior to all other cultures.  TRUE: Only superior because it is more technologically advanced and provides better quality of life.  FALSE: Cultures cannot be ranked and should be considered on their own merits.

3 WHAT IS CULTURE?  Humans can adapt to and change their environment  The methods humans use to deal with their environment, form the foundation of their culture  Culture: all the shared products of human groups  Physical, beliefs, values, and behaviors  Material Culture: physical objects that people create and use  Cars, books, buildings, eating utensils, and clothing  Nonmaterial Culture: abstract human creations  Beliefs, family patterns, ideas, language, political/economic systems…

4 WHAT IS CULTURE?  Society and Culture are different…  Society: a group of interdependent people who have organized to share common culture and feeling of unity  Society consists of people  Culture consists of material and nonmaterial products that people create

5 COMPONENTS OF CULTURE  Technology: combination of objects and their rules  We need knowledge and skills to use technology  Interested rules of acceptable behavior when using material culture.  “hacking”  Other examples?

6 COMPONENTS OF CULTURE  Symbols: anything that represents something else  A shared meaning attached to it

7 COMPONENTS OF CULTURE  Language: organization of written or spoken symbols into a standardized system  Expresses ideas and thoughts  Different kinds of language?

8 COMPONENTS OF CULTURE  Values: shared beliefs about what is good/bad, right/wrong, desirable/undesirable, etc.  Language and symbols allow us to communicate values  Types of values held by a group determine their character  Determine the material and nonmaterial culture they create

9 COMPONENTS OF CULTURE  Norms: shared rules of conduct that tell people how to act in specific situation  All groups create them to enforce cultural values  What are some American norms?  Respect flag, schooling, job, respect elders, not killing someone, etc  2 types of Norms: Folkways and Mores  Folkways: socially acceptable behavior but not great significance (every day customs)  Shake hands when meeting someone, don’t talk with a mouthful, never let the flag touch the ground. What else?

10 COMPONENTS OF CULTURE  Mores: : socially acceptable behavior that has great moral significance  Dishonesty, fraud, murder, etc.  Society has established punishments for violating mores and to protect social well being. What would these mores be called?  Laws: written rules of conduct enacted and enforced by government.

11 EXAMINING CULTURE  Culture is continuously changing. We call this constant change dynamic opposed to static  There are new words, expressions, ideas constantly being introduced as well.  Name some  Since things are changing all the time, how do sociologists study culture?  By breaking it down into 3 levels

12 EXAMINING CULTURE  Culture trait: is an individual tool, act, or belief that is related to a particular situation or need.  Simplest level of culture  Name some examples:  eating utensils, saying hello, shaking hands, standing and taking a hat off during the National Anthem.  Culture Complexes: a cluster of interrelated traits.  Football is a culture complex  Material: football, cleats, helmets, pads, etc.  Beliefs: rules should be followed, penalties for violations.

13 EXAMINING CULTURE  Culture Patterns: a combination of a number of culture complexes into an interrelated whole.  Separate complexes of MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, PGA, MLS, NASCAR combine to form the American athletic pattern.  Other patterns relate to aspects of society: agriculture, education, family life, religion.

14 APPLY YOUR KNOWLEDGE  During the 1970’s the term politically correct, which referred to the liberal view of what is socially acceptable, gained popularity. The term was valuable in increasing people’s sensitivity to offensive words and actions. In time, however, the term politically correct became trite as some people used it to support extreme views. By the 1990’s jokes about some of the absurd uses of the term were common and being politically incorrect even gained popularity among some.  Write to me an essay relating the term politically correct to the concept of norms.

15 CULTURAL VARIATION  Your Japanese friend invites you to their home for a traditional dinner…would you know what to expect?  Must bring a small gift to show appreciation  Take off your shoes and put on slippers  Decline the seat of honor a few times then accept  You have to sit on the floor (no chairs) and you cant stretch your legs out (pointing the soles of your feet at someone is bad manners)  Never pour yourself a drink, pour drinks for others  Clean your area after your meal  Place your chopsticks on your plate and fold your napkin

16 WHAT DO WE HAVE IN COMMON?  Even though humans have the same basic needs, we are vastly different  Humans have numerous needs and we meet them in numerous ways  SOME needs are so basic that all societies must develop features to ensure their fulfillment.  The features that are common to all cultures are cultural universals

17 WHAT DO WE HAVE IN COMMON?  A list of more than 65 cultural universals has been established  Anthropologist George Murdoch studied hundreds of cultures to find commonalities  Among the 65; body adornment, cooking, dancing, family, feasting, forms of greeting, funeral ceremonies, gift giving, housing, language, medicine, music, myths and folklore, religion, sports, and tool making  The family structure is one of the strongest in all cultures  Caring for the young until old enough and introducing them to their culture  However family makeup varies from culture to culture

18 VARIATION AMONG SOCIETIES  1930’s Margaret Mead conducted studies of cultural variation.  Wanted to determine whether differences in basic temperament (fundamental emotional disposition) results mainly from inherited characteristics or from cultural influences.  Studied two native groups in Papua New Guinea  The Arapesh and the Mundugumor (Only 100 miles apart)  Do you think these two shared social traits and cultures?

19 THE ARAPESH  Gentle, nonaggressive, receptive, trusting people  Society is based on complete cooperation  Live in close-knit villages of clans  Women bring firewood and water, prepare daily meals, and carry goods.

20 THE ARAPESH  Men clear/fence land, build/repair houses, hunt, plant, care for crops, cook and carve ceremonial food  Both men and women care for the children (fathers are heavily involved in child care)  Children are brought up in a friendly society  Lent out to relatives to increase their trust in people  Taught to channel aggressive behavior in a non threatening way

21 THE MUNDUGUMOR  Aggressive, competitive, jealous, and violent  Delight in showing off and fighting  Open hostility between members of the same sex, forcing scattered settlements  Brothers don’t speak, hostility between father and son (same for sisters/mothers and daughters)  Family ties are through “rope” of opposite sex  Rope: Father, his daughters, his daughters’ sons, his daughters’ sons’ daughters, etc. (same for mother and son)

22 THE MUNDUGUMOR  Wealth and power for men derive from having numerous wives  Many have 8 to 10 wives (help with daily activities)  Children push parents apart rather than unite  Father wants daughter to trade for wife, Mother wants son to help with activities and be her heir  Children also receive no motherly contact or comfort  Many rules for Mundugumor children

23 COMPARED…  How are these cultures different?  Arapesh lived in the Mountains, Mundugumor in a river valley  Arapesh planted gardens while Mundugumor were gatherers  Food was scarce for Arapesh, abundant for Mundugumor  Mead concluded that temperament is mainly a result of culture rather than biology.

24 STUDYING VARIATION  Because there are so many variations in culture, it makes it difficult to study and form conclusions  Remember the Japanese dinner? Were some of those customs strange?  Common to think that when traits are so different then our own  This tendency to view one’s own culture and group as superior is called ethnocentrism  Ethnocentrism…good or bad?

25 STUDYING VARIATION  We are all at one time ethnocentric  It can be good and lead to group unity  Patriotism! USA USA USA  Can also be bad in extreme cases  Cultural stagnation, limits creativity and possible influences

26 STUDYING VARIATION  We should keep an open mind toward cultural variations  Cultural Relativism is the belief that cultures should be judged by their own standards rather than applying the standards of another culture.  Cultural relativism helps us understand practices that seem strange or different from those of our own

27 VARIATIONS WITHIN SOCIETY  Cultural variations among societies as well as within societies!  As Americans, what are some cultural things we share (we’ve named them dozens of times)  The collection of traits, complexes, and patterns make us distinct from other societies  Some groups within society share values, norms, and behaviors that are not shared by the entire population  The unique cultural characteristics of these groups form a subculture  Age, gender, ethnic, religious, political, geographical, social class, and occupation can all be subcultures

28 VARIATIONS WITHIN SOCIETY  Subcultural practices can challenge the values of the larger society  Rejecting major values, norms, and practices and create their own pattern known as a Counterculture  Anarchists, organized crime families, and the hippie movement during the 60’s

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