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Sociology – Chapter 2 - Culture

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1 Sociology – Chapter 2 - Culture
Miss Hickey Sociology Hilliard Davidson High School

2 What is culture? culture – language, beliefs, values, norms, behaviors and even material objects passed from one generation to the next penetrates deep into thinking; “taken for granted” provides implicit instructions for what to do in different situations fundamental basis to make decisions moral imperatives (right way of doing things) can’t exist without culture—we all have it

3 Material Culture material culture – material objects that distinguish a group of people nothing natural about it Example: different fashions around the world easier to change than non-material culture

4 Non-Material Culture non-material culture – group’s way of thinking and doing nothing natural Example: ability to stand in a line or to push and shove way to the front of group harder to change non-material culture than material culture

5 Culture Shock culture shock – disorientation people experience when coming in contact with a fundamentally different culture coming into contact with radically different culture challenge our basic assumptions about life When have you experienced culture shock? What happened? How did you feel?

6 Ethnocentrism vs. Cultural Relativism
ethnocentrism – use of one’s own culture to judge others in their society all people are ethnocentric both positive and negative consequences “One’s group is the center of everything, and all others are scaled and rated with it.” – William Sumner cultural relativism – not judging a culture but trying to understand it on its own terms putting self in their (other culture’s) shoes/eyes

7 A SHORT Review: Vocabulary
culture material culture non-material culture culture shock ethnocentrism cultural relativism

8 Components of Symbolic Culture
non-material culture gestures language values norms sanctions folkways mores taboos

9 Communication gesture – communicating through the body language
allows human experience to be communicative provides a social or shared past provides a social or shared future allows shared perspective allows complex, shared, goal-directed behavior Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis - Language creates ways of thinking (Edward Sapir and Ben Whorf)

10 Values, Norms and Sanctions
norm – rules of behavior sanction – approval or disapproval for violation of norms positive sanctions – a reward or positive reaction for following norms Examples: material success, prize, trophy, money, hugs, smiles, thumbs up! negative sanction – negative expression of disproval for breaking a norm Examples: harsh words or gesture, frowning, staring, violence, prison

11 Values in U.S. Society achievement freedom success democracy
individualism equality activity education work religiosity science and technology romantic love progress racism/group superiority (contradiction) material comfort humanitarianism

12 Emerging U.S. Values leisure self-fulfillment physical fitness
youthfulness concern for the environment

13 Folkway, More, Taboo folkway – norms that are not strictly enforced
Example: breaking speed limit more – strictly enforced norms Example: murder taboo – extremely strong norm; a norm so strong that it often brings revulsion if violated Example: incest

14 Subculture vs. Counterculture
pluralistic society – a society made up of many different groups subculture – the values and related behaviors of a group that distinguishes its members from the larger culture: world within a world ethnic subculture – values, norms, food, religion, language and clothing set them apart professional subcultures – doctors, engineers, teacher, police officers, etc. all have own vocabulary, values, etc. counterculture – a group whose values, beliefs and elated behaviors place its members in opposition to the broader culture

15 Values value cluster – values that fit together to form a larger whole
value contradiction – values that contradict one another; to follow the one means to come into conflict with the other Example: pro-life and pro-death penalty ideal culture – the ideal values and norms of a people; the goals held out for them real culture – the norms and values that people actually follow Do you hold any value contradictions? Why? Why do you think people throughout history have held value contradictions?

16 Cultural Universals cultural universals – values, norms, or other cultural trains that are found everywhere George Murdock The specific customs differ from one group to another Customs found were courtship, marriage, funerals, games, laws, music, myths, incest taboos and toilet training. Sociobiology – a framework of thought that views human behavior as the result of natural selection and considers biological factors to be the fundamental cause

17 Technology in the Global Village
narrow sense: tools broader sense: skills or procedures necessary to make and use those tools new technology – the emerging technology of an era that have a significant impact on social life technology sets the framework for a groups non-material culture

18 William Ogburn cultural lag – human lagging behind technological innovations a groups material culture usually changes first, with the non-material culture lagging behind

19 Diffusion and Leveling
cultural diffusion – the spread of cultural characteristics from one group to another cultural leveling – the cultures become similar to one another Example: U.S. culture being exported and diffused into other nations

20 A SHORT Time to Ponder Why is culture not universal?
How has technology changed in your lifetime in ways that impact culture? How do you think technology will change in the future, and how will those changes impact society? What are some examples of cultural lag?

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