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© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.Chapter 3 Culture © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.What is Culture? Culture is the values, beliefs, behaviour, and material objects that together form a people’s way of life. © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.Culture Terms Nonmaterial culture: The intangible world of ideas created by members of a society Material culture: The tangible things created by members of a society Culture shock: Personal disorientation when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life (Cont’d) © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
Culture Terms (Cont’d)Culture is very recent Homo sapiens years ago “Civilization” years ago in Middle East Industrial way of life 300 years ago Nation: political entity and people State: political entity in a territory with borders Society: People who interact in a defined territory and share culture © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.Components of Culture Symbols: Anything that carries a particular meaning recognized by people who share a culture Language: A system of symbols that allows people to communicate with one another. Other species may have culture, but language skills are limited. Cultural transmission: process of passing on culture to the next generation. (Cont’d) © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
Components of Culture (Cont’d)Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: people perceive the world through the cultural lens of language. Values: Culturally defined standards by which people assess desirability, goodness, and beauty and that serve as broad guidelines for social living Beliefs: Statements that people hold to be true (Cont’d) © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
Components of Culture (Cont’d)Norms: Rules and expectations by which society guides the behaviour of its members Mores: Norms that are widely observed and have great moral significance, e.g., no sexual relations with children. Folkways: Norms for routine or casual interaction, e.g., proper dress. Social control: means by which members of a society encourage conformity to norms. © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
“Ideal” and “Real” CultureIDEAL CULTURE The way things should be REAL CULTURE The way things actually are © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
Material Culture and TechnologyTechnology: knowledge that a society applies to the task of living in a physical environment Humans in original state had little more than simple tools In Canada, some groups reject modern technology. New Information Technology: The application of ideas and information using computers and other electronic devices, began 50 years ago. It can generate culture on a grand scale. © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.Cultural Diversity Multicultural: 2001 Census had more than 200 responses to question of ethnic identity in Canada High Culture: Cultural Patterns that distinguish a society’s elite Popular Culture: Cultural patterns widespread among society’s population (Cont’d) © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
Cultural Diversity (Cont’d)Subculture: Cultural patterns that set apart some segment of society. Multiculturalism: Social policy designed to encourage ethnic or cultural heterogeneity. Eurocentrism: dominance of European cultural patterns Counterculture: Cultural patterns that strongly oppose those widely accepted (Cont’d) © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.Table 3-1 © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
Cultural Diversity (Cont’d)Cultural Change: Occurs by invention, discovery, and diffusion Cultural lag: Some elements change more quickly than others Ethnocentrism: Practice of judging another culture by the standards of one’s own culture Cultural Relativism: Practice of evaluating a culture by its own standards © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.A Global Culture? Societies have more contact by the flow of: goods information people But these flows are uneven: the goods and services are expensive; and different meanings are attached to them © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
Structural-Functional AnalysisCulture is a complex strategy for meeting human needs Cultural Universals: traits that are part of every known culture and include: family, funeral rites, & jokes Critical evaluation: downplays importance of change, and overlooks range of diversity. © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
Social-Conflict AnalysisCulture is a dynamic arena of conflict. Cultural traits benefit some members at the expense of others. Approach rooted in Karl Marx and materialism – society’s system of material production has a powerful effect on the rest of a culture. Critical evaluation: Understates the ways cultural patterns integrate members into society. © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.Cultural Materialism A paradigm that explores the relationship of human culture to the physical environment. Why do Hindus not eat cows? Cows cost little to raise and produce oxen and manure, the latter providing building materials and a source of heat. Critical evaluation: not easy to draw connections and modern society can manipulate the natural world. © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.Sociobiology A theoretical paradigm that explores ways in which human biology affects how we create culture. Approach rooted in Charles Darwin’s concept of natural selection: living organisms change over long periods of time. Critical evaluation: May be used to support racism or sexism; and little evidence to support theory, people learn behaviour within a cultural system. © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.Culture and Freedom Culture as constraint We only know our world in terms of our culture Culture as freedom Culture is changing and offers a variety of opportunities © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
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