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Sociology Unit 1, Ch 2: Cultural Diversity

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1 Sociology Unit 1, Ch 2: Cultural Diversity

2 Section 1: The Meaning of Culture
Mind map: what do you think about when you see “culture”? Sociologists consider: People’s language, art, ceremonies and rituals, religion, rules of behavior, social organization, ways of producing food, and work roles. Distinguishes one human group from another. 4/23/2017 Free template from

3 What is culture to sociologists?
Humans are not controlled by natural instincts. Able to adapt to and change their environment How people deal with their environment forms the foundation of their culture! Culture All shared products of human groups Physical objects and beliefs, values, and behaviors shared by a group Learned and shared Society Group of interdependent people who have organized in such a way as to share a common culture and feeling of unity Consists of the material and nonmaterial products that people create 4/23/2017 Free template from

4 Material pg. 25 Nonmaterial Culture Culture
Physical objects that people create and use form a group’s material culture Ex: automobiles, books, buildings, clothing, computers, and cooking utensils Formed by abstract human creations Ex: beliefs, family patterns, ideas, language, political and economic systems, rules, skills, and work practices 4/23/2017 Free template from

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Components of Culture 1.) Technology Culture consists of not only physical objects but also rules for using those objects … tech! Using items of material culture, particularly tools, requires knowledge of various skills, which is a part of nonmaterial culture. Ex: ability to access and surf the internet Ex: hacking is illegal 2.) Symbols Through symbols we create our culture and communicate it to groups members and future generations. Anything that represents something else, has shared meaning Word, gesture, image, sound, physical object, event, etc. Vary from culture to culture, but all cultures communicate symbolically. 4/23/2017 Free template from

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Components of Culture 3.) Language Organization of written or spoken symbols into a standardized system. English, principle language here, used in: Books, schools, magazines, radio and TV. Ever been to a foreign country and been unable to speak the language? Now you understand how important the use of language is in daily life. 4.) Values Language and symbols help us communicate our values. Shared beliefs about what is good or bad, right or wrong. Values held by a group help determine the character of its people and the kinds of material and nonmaterial culture they create. One society values war, and one farming, their cultures will be very different. 4/23/2017 Free template from

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Components of Culture 5.) Norms All groups have these to enforce their cultural values. Shared rules of conduct that tell people how to act in specific situations. Ex: US values democratic gov’t Reinforced through norms governing political participation, respect for the flag, & treatment of political officials Norms are expectations for behavior, no actual behavior! We do have rebels…such as? 4/23/2017 Free template from

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Norms continued… Manners and laws Some apply to all, and others apply to some: No one is allowed to marry more than one person Some clergy and children are forbidden from marrying at all! Influenced by geography Norms vary in the strictness with which they are enforced: Folkways and Mores 4/23/2017 Free template from

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Norms: Folkways Mores Norms that describe socially acceptable behavior, but don’t have great moral significance attached to them. Outline the common customs of everyday life. EX: Don’t put food in your mouth with a knife, don’t let flag touch ground, shake hands when introduced, etc. Don’t obey – minor punishment or warning. Not following does not endanger the well-being of society. Have great moral significance attached to them. Violation of such rules endangers society’s well-being and stability. Ex: Dishonesty, fraud, murder. Serious ones are laws. 4/23/2017 Free template from

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Examining Culture Culture is always changing. Dynamic, not static New material objects are always being introduced, as are new words, expressions, and ideas. Such as??? Sociologist break down culture into levels and study each level separately. 3 levels of complexity: Traits, complexes, and patterns. 4/23/2017 Free template from

12 Three levels of complexity: 1.) Culture Traits
An individual tool, act, or belief that is related to a particular situation or need. Ex: using knives, forks, and spoons when eating is a culture trait. Ex: a specific greeting when meeting a person. How can these be different? 4/23/2017 Free template from

13 Three levels of complexity: 2.) Culture Complexes
Individual culture traits combine to form this level. Cluster of interrelated traits. Ex: football game Material traits: football, measuring chain, cleated shoes, helmets, pads, etc. Specific acts: kicking, passing, catching, running, tackling, etc. Specific beliefs: certain rules followed, penalties for rule violations Other parts of the culture: financing, marketing, and advertising for the game 4/23/2017 Free template from

14 Three levels of complexity: 3.) Culture Patterns
Culture complexes combine to form the largest level. The combination of a number of culture complexes into an interrelated whole. Ex: Separate complexes of baseball, basketball, football, etc. combine to form an American athletic pattern. Other patterns relate to other aspects of society like: agriculture, education, family life, manufacturing, and religion. 4/23/2017 Free template from

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Activity Using a blank sheet of paper: Let’s see what type of culture you have =) Illustrate it! Include: Your name…easy Language Art Ceremonies and rituals (traditions) Religion Rules of behavior Social organization Ways of producing food Work roles Elements of material and nonmaterial culture Etc. Add anything else you feel explains your culture. You have twenty minutes! 4/23/2017 Free template from

16 Section Two: Cultural Variation
Just how much do cultures vary? What is your family’s dining ritual? Let’s look at the Japanese dining ritual. Pg. 30 4/23/2017 Free template from

17 Sooo….what do we have in common?
We all have the same basic needs, right? Like what? We can meet those needs in different ways. Cultural universals: Features common to all cultures 65 according to George Murdock, such as: Body adornment, cooking, dancing, family, feasting, forms of greeting, funeral ceremonies, gift giving, housing, language, medicine, music, myths and folklore, religion, sports, and tool-making. The nature of these can vary widely. 4/23/2017 Free template from

18 Margaret Mead’s Cultural Variation Study
1930’s study on whether differences in basic temperament result mainly from inherited characteristics or from cultural influences. Nature (genetic) vs. Nurture (environment) Observed shared/learned behaviors in New Guinea of the Arapesh and Mundugumor people. 100 miles apart 4/23/2017 Free template from

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Results: Found that temperament is mostly a result of culture rather than biology Differences were greater b/t the 2 societies than b/t males and females in the same society Arapesh: Men and women both gentle and cooperative Mundugumore: Everyone hostile and competitive 4/23/2017 Free template from

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Studying Variation Ethnocentrism: Tendency to view one’s own culture and group as superior Helps bring groups together Can result from technological advances Think back to the Japanese dining example… did it sound odd? 4/23/2017 Free template from

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Cultural Relativism The belief that cultures should be judged by their own standards rather than by applying the standards of another culture These researchers try to understand cultural practices from the points of view of the members of society being studied Helps us understand practices that might seem strange Ex: Indians laws against killing cows, even in a food shortage 4/23/2017 Free template from

23 Variations within Societies
Americans share a common culture… What is that? Some groups in American society share values, norms, and behaviors that are not shared by the entire population. Forms a subculture Edwin Sutherland developed the idea of subculture in the 1920’s by working with crime and juvenile detention centers 4/23/2017 Free template from

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Today sociologists recognize the following subcultures: Deviant, age, gender, ethnic, religious, political, geographic, social-class, and occupation What are some famous subcultures in the united States? What is your youth’s subculture? Subcultures are needed (military, physicians, teachers) and add diversity (ethnic, etc). May prompt society to change 4/23/2017 Free template from

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Counterculture Some subcultures are created to rebel from the larger society When a group rejects major values, norms, and practices of larger society, and replaces them with a new set of cultural patterns… you get a counterculture! Ex: anarchists, organized crime families, hippies in the 1960’s, etc. Try not to let ethnocentrism take over! 4/23/2017 Free template from

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