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Chapter 3 CULTURE.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 3 CULTURE."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 3 CULTURE

2 Chapter Overview What is Culture? Components of Symbolic Culture
Many Cultural Worlds: Subcultures and Countercultures Values in U.S. Society Technology in the Global Village Cultural Lag, Diffusion, and Labeling

3 What is Culture? Culture is: How is this accomplished? Two components
The language, beliefs, values, norms, and behaviors passed on from one generation to the next How is this accomplished? Two components Nonmaterial culture Material culture

4 What is Culture? Material Nonmaterial
Belief system, values, behavior, social interactions, language, gestures, and assumptions about the world Cultural artifacts and objects people create and assign meanings to.

5 Culture Within Us Our speech, gestures, beliefs, customs are usually taken for granted We assume that they are normal and natural Cultural lens Perception of reality Guides our behavior and helps us make decisions

6 Cultural Consequences
Sometimes our assumptions are challenged Culture Shock Ethnocentrism Practicing Cultural Relativism

7 Ethnocentrism and Culture Shock
What is Normal, Natural, or Usual? We believe our ways are “Normal” Culture Shock- coming into contact with a culture that is different from what we know Cultures are in conflict Ethnocentrism-the belief that our culture is the “best” or superior to all others Tendency to evaluate other groups according to one’s own standards Negative consequences Positive consequences

8 Cultural Relativism Attempt to understand another culture’s perspective and not based on one’s own perspective Refocus our lens so we can appreciate other ways of life instead of asserting “our way is right and the only way” Examples Hindu diet and US diet Bull fighting Values

9 When Cultural Relativism Does Not Apply
Cultural values result in exploitation Involuntary Inhumane Oppressive Examples Honor Killing Female Circumcision

10 Components of Symbolic Culture
Symbols Something people attach meaning and then use to communicate with others. Nonmaterial culture Material culture

11 Components of Symbolic Culture
Gestures Using the body to communicate with others to send messages without using words Universal, but meaning changes completely from one culture to another Can lead to misunderstandings, embarrassment, or conflict Some universal gestures

12 Components of Symbolic Culture
Language System of symbols that can be put together in infinite number of ways to communicate abstract thought. Five Purposes of Languages Allows Human Experience to Be Cumulative Provides a Social or Shared Past Provides a Social or Shared Future Allows Shared Perspectives Allows Complex, Shared, Goal-Directed Behavior

13 Components of Symbolic Culture
Language & Perceptions Language has embedded within it ways of looking at the world Part of language is not only to learn it, but also ways of thinking and perceiving. Sapir-Whorf hypothesis The language of each culture does not merely influence how people understand the world it shapes ways of thinking and perceiving Meaning beyond words EXAMPLES Welfare Stupid Labeling or Stereotyping Racial profiling Resumes

14 Components of Symbolic Culture
Values Standards by which people define what is desirable or undesirable, good or bad, beautiful or ugly. Guide our choices or preferences in life In modern pluralistic societies, such as the U.S., value orientations are complex.

15 Values in U.S. Society Romantic Love Democracy Science and Technology
Religiosity Freedom Efficiency and Practicality Education Humanitarianism Activity and Work Racism and Group Superiority Material Comfort Individualism Equality Progress Achievement and Success

16 Values in U.S. Society Value Cluster Ideal Culture Real Culture
Values together form a larger whole Values do not exist alone Examples Value Clash When core values change causing conflict between social groups Change is viewed as a threat to their life, an undermining of both their present and their future. Ideal Culture Values that society views as important and worth aspiring up to What people "should do“ Real Culture The values and norms and people actually follow What people "actually do"

17 Values in U.S. Society Emerging Values
A value cluster of 4 interrelated core values Leisure self fulfillment Physical fitness Youthfulness Environmental consciousness

18 Components of Symbolic Culture
Norms Norms - Expectations or rules for behavior Informal and Formal Norms Norms will change as cultures change Sanctions - Reaction to following or breaking norms Positive Sanctions Negative Sanctions Moral holidays

19 Components of Symbolic Culture
Types of Norms Folkways - Norms that are not strictly enforced Weak social norms Not a threat to society Examples Mores - Norms, when broken, go against a society’s basic core values Strictly enforced norms Norms are viewed as essential and everyone must follow Taboos - Norms, when broken, are considered repulsive People who violate these norms are viewed as unfit for society

20 Many Cultural Worlds Subculture: Countercultures:
A world within the dominant culture Groups that share many elements of mainstream culture but maintain their own distinctive customs, values, norms, and lifestyles. The norms and values do not clash with those of the dominant culture Countercultures: Groups whose values, lifestyles, norms, attitudes, and other behaviors are in opposition to the broader society The norms and values clash with those of the dominant culture

21 Cultural Diffusion and Cultural Leveling
Cultural Diffusion: The spreading of cultural characteristics from one culture to another Why is this happening so rapidly? Cultural Leveling: When cultures start to become similar to each other

22 Perspectives on Culture
Functionalist Perspective All cultures are in part practical responses to environmental conditions Cultural ecological approach Examines the relationship between a culture and its total environment Example: Hindu culture Prevents ethnocentrism Cultural integration approach Show how the cultural practices of groups tend to “fit together” Changes in one element may have broad repercussions for the culture of any group. Example: Technological changes

23 Perspectives on Culture
Conflict Perspective The values, beliefs, and traditions of a nation or society are not necessarily a product of consensus and “social need” Culture is highly complex with many strains and contradictions between conflicting group interests and needs. Groups with power and wealth have the resources to control and influence national culture Examples: slave era, corporate capitalism Cultural hegemony The domination of cultural industries by elite groups

24 Perspectives on Culture
Symbolic Interaction Perspective Focuses on how individuals and groups use symbols to define and interpret reality. People everywhere live in “symbolic worlds” that are created and reproduced by diverse social groups Our daily lives are structured by the symbols and meanings of many groups If groups define something as real, whether or not they truly exist, “they are real in their consequences”

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