Presentation on theme: "Culture. What is culture, and what role does it play in society and in its members lives? culture - The way of life in a particular society. Knowledge,"— Presentation transcript:
What is culture, and what role does it play in society and in its members lives? culture - The way of life in a particular society. Knowledge, values, customs and physical objects shared by members of a society. 1. The particular content of culture varies from place to place, but all human cultures have the same basic elements. 2. cultural elements - values, norms, symbols, language, knowledge, religion, music, art, food, clothes, housing, leisure activities, media, etc.
What is culture, and what role does it play in society and in its members lives? B. Human behavior is based on culture 1. our way of thinking: our hopes and fears, our likes and dislikes, our beliefs and habits (influenced by the time and place in which we live) 2. virtually everything we say or do - from shaking hands to falling in love. 3. culture is developed, used and modified as necessary (it is constantly changing.
Heredity - genetic inheritance 1. instincts - innate inheritance (unlearned)patterns of behavior Is instinct or culture more important in determining human behavior? Why? 2. nature vs. nurture 3. reflexes - automatic reaction to physical stimulus (babies cry when pinched, eyes contract in bright light) 4. drives - impulse to reduce discomfort (eat when hungry, sleep when tired) 5. culture channels these expressions of biological charac.
Norms and Values norms - rules defining appropriate and inappropriate behavior (3 basic types) 1. folkways - norms that lack moral significance - everyday habits (sleeping on a bed, supporting school activites, a male taking off a hat in church) (breaking a folkway is not considered wicked) 2. mores - norms that have moral dimensions and that should be followed by members of the society (standing up for the National Anthem, swearing in church) (breaking a more brings strong disapproval) a. taboo - most serious mores (a rule of behavior, the violation of which calls for strong punishment) (incest)
Norms and Values law - a norm that is formally defined and enforced by officials a. sanctions - rewards and punishments used to encourage people to follow norms 1. formal sanctions - imposed by persons given special authority (judges, teachers, gov.) 2. informal sanctions - imposed by most members of a group 3. both can be positive or negative
Norms and Values Values - deeply held criteria for judging what is good or bad, desirable or undesirable, beautiful or ugly. 1. Why are values important? They have a tremendous influence on human social behavior because they form the basis for norms
Beliefs and Material Culture A. non-material culture - beliefs, ideas, knowledge that influence people’s behavior 1. beliefs - ideas about the nature of reality (true or false) People base their behavior on what they believe regardless of how true or false the beliefs are. B. material culture - concrete, tangible objects of a culture - autos, basketballs, chairs, highways, art (physical objects have no meaning apart from what people give them)
Beliefs and Material Culture Ideal and real culture 1. ideal culture - cultural guidelines that group members claim to accept 2. real culture - actual behavior patterns of members of a group ex. - honesty - explain?
Cultural diversity and similarities cultural change - 3 reasons 1. discovery - finding something that already exists (athletic ability of females) 2. invention - creation of something new (cell phones) 3. diffusion - borrowing aspects from other cultures (food, democracy) Cultural diversity 1. social categories - groupings of persons who share a social characteristic (age, gender, religion) 2. subculture - a group that is part of the dominant culture but that differs in some important respects (San Francisco’s Chinatown) 3. counterculture - a subculture deliberately and consciously opposed to certain central beliefs
Cultural diversity and similarity Ethnocentrism - judging others in terms of one’s own cultural standards (olympics, states, members of schools) 1. advantages - stability is promoted because traditions and behaviors are highly valued 2. disadvantages - group becomes too rigid and inflexible and cannot change for the better Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis - our idea of reality largely depends upon language
Cultural diversity and similarity Cultural universals - general traits that exist in all cultures (sports, cooking, courtship, education, etiquette, government, housing, music) 1. cultural particulars - the ways in which a culture expresses universal traits ex. - role of women/men: *In the U.S. women are mainly responsible for child rearing * in New Guinea men are in charge of child rearing * The Navajo Indians share domestic and economic tasks equally