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What is Culture? Created by C. Amaya.

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1 What is Culture? Created by C. Amaya

2 Why must we understand culture?
To avoid misunderstandings from a lack of knowledge Example: Eleanor who moves here from Hong Kong Everyone is born into a culture Its inherited by parents/grandparents It shapes our lives To avoid being ethnocentric; stopping the label of the “ugly American” Ethnocentrism – means to judge other cultures negatively & narrow-mindedly We need to avoid this if possible WHO has culture? Culture: all the things that make up a people’s entire way of life. Example: Eleanor, a Chinese girl from Hong Kong would not look at her teacher, and the teacher got mad. The teacher reprimanded her. Eleanor was confused, didn’t the teacher know it is disrespectful to look directly at a person of authority? Even her father does not look at his boss directly in the eye. She did not know that Americans consider it rude to not look them in the eye. Culture: is reflected in what we eat, clothes we wear, jokes we tell, etc… also affects what we think is ugly or beautiful, what is right or wrong, and our goals for future.

3 Elements of Culture Social Organization Customs and Traditions
Which family structure term would be used to describe everyone, including: your parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, Aunts/uncles, friends, etc… Social Organization Family structure Nuclear family Extended family Social classes Born into your class in the past Today, there is more opportunity for social mobility Customs and Traditions Rules of behavior Language is the cornerstone of culture Identity, expression Nuclear family=wife, husband, and their children Extended fam=several generations living in one household. Less common in industrialized societies. Examples: common in many societies. Farming culture, grandparents look after the young while older children and adults work land. Family members many times pool their savings to buy a tractor/send child to school. Respect for elders- strong-seen as very wise. Who exercises authority in household? US-many times it’s the man. For centuries, most cultures families were patriarchal-run by the males. In some African & Nat. American cultures, families are matriarchal-authority lies with females. Presently, things are changing-with 2 income households, authority is trying to be shared. How do you change your social status? Obtaining good education Earning more money Marrying into a family Rules of behavior- Some affect everyday life=what to wear, how to be polite Eat with chopsticks or fork Sleep on bed or hammock Greetings with hand shake or bow Other ways to enforce behavior- social pressure (appropriate clothes for a party) Written laws express most important rules of right and wrong.

4 Religion Cultures usually share religious beliefs.
Why has religion been the cause of so many wars? Cultures usually share religious beliefs. Religion helps people answer basic questions about the meaning and purpose of life. Also supports the values a group of people consider important. History has played a central role in shaping the religion of a society

5 Religious diversity List of major religions: Monotheism Polytheism
Hinduism Christianity Islam Buddhism Judaism Monotheism Worship of one god Polytheism Worship of more than one god. Religion spreads… Religious differences still cause major problems around the world today. Religion spreads: missionaries, conquering armies Religious differences: Struggles are not new-have lasted thousands of years. Ex: northern Ireland-fighting btwn Catholics and protestants. Balkans-fighting between Muslims and Christians Ethnic rivalries is another reason for these struggles.

6 Forms of government Why are they formed? Government:
people or person who holds power in a society society’s laws and political institutions Who organizes governments? Types of government: Democracy – a government where the power rests in the hands of the people. Govt. can act only with their consent. Autocracy - ruler or small group of rulers who hold unlimited power. Usually rule by force. Note: There are more specific types of government within these 2 categories Why are they formed? Provide for their needs: Keeping order in society Protecting society from outside threats. People organize govt. in many different ways. Sometimes-like in early history, when people lived in small groups, government was simple. (chief or elder made decisions based on culture’s beliefs and customs) As time went on… governments became complex. With the large populations came more and more complexity. Now there are nations who are based on written code of law. Governments do many jobs- collect taxes, enforce laws, administer justice.

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