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The Meaning of Culture:

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Presentation on theme: "The Meaning of Culture:"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Meaning of Culture:
The Key to Human Diversity

2 Does this picture offend you?

3 If so, then you may be guilty of Ethnocentrism!
People who are ethnocentric apply their own values in judging the behavior and beliefs of other people raised in other cultures. Ethnocentrism contributes to social solidarity and a sense of value and community. However, it also fuels conflict.

4 Culture is learned behavior
Each child goes through a process of enculturation when they grow up in a culture. Children learn by observing the behaviors of people in their surroundings, including the recognition of symbols specific to that culture.

5 Examples of cultural symbols

6 Culture is shared Culture is an attribute not of individuals per se but of individuals as members of groups. Culture is transmitted by society. Enculturation unifies people by providing us with common experiences.

7 Culture is symbolic Symbols can either be verbal (linguistic) or nonverbal (object, written symbol).

8 Culture and Nature: Differences in How we meet the call
Culture defines what people eat, how food is prepared, and when and how food is eaten. Waste elimination is culturally prescribed. Sexual activities are also dictated by culture (with who, how, where, and when).

9 Culture is all-encompassing and integrated
Culture envelopes each of us, and touches every aspect of our lives. Culture is systematic and integrated (it is not a random phenomenon). Cultures teach us to share certain core values that helps shape the personality of the individuals within a culture.

10 Cultures are dynamic: rules are made to be broken
Humans are creative animals and always do not strictly follow the dictates of their culture. There is individual interpretation of each aspect of culture that is in part due to family and personal history. Real vs. Ideal culture.

11 Culture can be both adaptive and maladaptive
Modern technology has provided for the adaptation of humans to every part of the globe, as ancient technologies provided successful to environments on a smaller scale. Short-term vs. long-term adaptive strategies.

12 Levels of culture National: learned behavioral patterns, beliefs, values, and institutions shared by the citizens of a nation. International: cultural traditions that expand beyond cultural boundaries. Subculture: different traditions practiced by groups set within a larger culture. Frequently regionally based.

13 Ethnocentrism, Cultural Relativism, and Human Rights
The “human rights” movement suggests that there is a realm of justice and morality that supercedes the practices of many cultures. Examples: female genital mutilation in the Middle East; male circumcision at birth in the United States.

14 Universality, Generality, and Particularity
Universal: found in all cultures. Examples: Exogamy and incest taboo. Generality: found in many cultures, but not all. Example: nuclear family. Particularities: found only in some cultures. Example: head hunting.

15 What makes cultures change?
Diffusion: borrowing of traits between cultures. Acculturation: exchange of cultural features that results from long-term exposure between cultures. Independent invention: Developing to solution to problems by individual cultures. Example: agriculture.

16 One World Culture? Globalization in the 21st Century
Cultures are increasingly coming in contact as a result of improved trade relations, better communication, and easier travel. Multinational corporations and business “outsourcing” to the Third World are becoming more commonplace.

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