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CULTURAL VARIATION Ch 2.2 (30-39). Traditional Japanese Dinner Norms  Bring a gift to show appreciation  Take shoes off upon entering house  Kneel.

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Presentation on theme: "CULTURAL VARIATION Ch 2.2 (30-39). Traditional Japanese Dinner Norms  Bring a gift to show appreciation  Take shoes off upon entering house  Kneel."— Presentation transcript:


2 Traditional Japanese Dinner Norms  Bring a gift to show appreciation  Take shoes off upon entering house  Kneel or sit on the floor  (Do not stretch legs out under the table – it is seen as bad manners to show the bottom of feet)  Lift bowl to your chest  Slurping is accepted  DO NOT pour drinks for yourself!

3 Indian versus American Wedding  What ways is an Indian wedding different from traditional American wedding?

4 Cultural Universals  Things, such as rituals that ALL societies have. George Murdock  Examined hundreds of different cultures to determine universals among all cultures  EX-body adornment, cooking, dancing, family, feasting, greetings, marriage, funeral ceremonies, language, religion, tool making.

5 How does the make-up of the family differ from culture to culture?  In the Western world, a family consists of both parents and their children (grandparents may be included)  In some parts of the world a man may have several wives and their children. While the make-up of the family may be different, the purpose is the same-to bring new members successfully into society.

6 Cultural Variation – Margaret Mead  Studied several small societies in New Guinea (during the 1930s).  Wanted to find out if there was differences in basic temperament – the emotional disposition of a person – were they a result of inherited characteristics OR from cultural differences.

7 The Arapesh  Contented  Gentle  Non-aggressive  Receptive  Trusting  Society based on complete cooperation

8 The Mundugumor  Aggressive  Competitive  Violent  Hostility is emphasized (an ideal)  For a man, power and wealth = the number the wives.  Children are often left unattended when mother works outside

9 Mead’s Conclusion Mead concluded that temperament is mainly a result of culture, rather than biology.

10 Whorf’s main point about language  People are conditioned by their language to notice some features of the real world and to ignore others. If the language does not have a word to describe an object, that object has little or no significance in that culture.  EX – Inuit have TONS of different words to describe the snow (different conditions, etc.)  EX-1:00-7:55:  &feature=related &feature=related

11 Ethnocentrism  Ethnocentrism is the practice of judging another culture by the standards of one’s own culture.

12 Cultural Relativism  Cultural relativism views the behavior of a people from the perspective of their own culture.

13 Applying Cultural Relativism  Cultural relativism helps anthropologists and sociologists understand practices that seem strange or different from their own culture. OBJECTIVE not SUBJECTIVE! Death customs:

14 Cultural Discontinuity  Cultural discontinuity is when subgroup members’ values, beliefs and practices differ from the larger culture and are at odds with those of their subculture.

15 EX-Cultural Discontinuity-Drop-out rates among Native Americans American education system is built on the competitive model – preparing students for a competitive market economy. Native American society is not based on a competitive model, rather it is based on the cooperative. Achievement is based on the basis of effort, commitment and degree of satisfaction. While cultural discontinuity has existed, as attitudes and beliefs about education change, drop-out rates are predicted to go down (culture changes/adapts).

16 SUBCULTURE  When a group within a society shares vales, norms or behaviors that are not the same as the entire population. MOST subcultures do NOT reject the values of the larger society.  Unique groups – age, gender, religions, geographic region, political, social class, occupations…

17 What states have the highest number of immigrants?  What types of questions might a sociologist have based on the information presented in a map?

18 COUNTERCULTURE  Group that rejects the major values, norms, and practices of larger society = new set of cultural patterns EX- hippies, anarchists, communists (?)

19 Cultural Variation in Society  Cultural variation in a society can give rise to ethnocentric feelings – racism, prejudice, etc.  It is important that sociologists maintain the objective perspective = perspective/attitude of cultural relativism. BE OPEN MINDED ABOUT OTHER CULTURES!

20 Cultural Change Cultural diffusion Cultural diffusion is the spreading of culture traits from one society to another Today it can happen almost instantly

21 Cultural lag Cultural lag is the time it takes for nonmaterial culture to “catch up” to changes in material culture Cultural leveling Cultural leveling is a process by which cultures become more and more alike Some suggest it is the first step toward a global culture Cultural Change

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