Chapter 3 book notes What is Culture? -Culture: the ways of thinking, the ways of acting, and the material objects that together form a people?s way of life. Includes: what we think, how we act and what we own. Culture is the link to the pas and the future. 2 types of culture -Nonmaterial culture: the ideas created by members of a society. -Material Culture: the physical things created by members of a society. -Culture Shock: personal disorientation when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life. Culture and Human Intelligence Homo sapiens: derived from the Latin meaning ?thinking person? Culture, Nation and Society Culture refers to a shared way of life Nation is a political entity, a territory with designated borders Society is the organized interaction of people who typically live in a nation or some other specific territory Multicultural means people follow various ways of life that blend. How many cultures? 200 languages in this country 7000 languages in the world The Elements Of Culture Cultures vary greatly but they all have common elements -Symbols -Language -Values -Norms Symbols Anything that carries a particular meaning recognized by people who share culture ex: whistle, graffiti, flashing red light, raised fist. New symbols are being created all the time Language A system of symbols that allows people to communicate with one another Cultural Transmission: the process by which one generation passes culture to the next. Sapir-Whorf thesis- people see and understand the world through the cultural lens of language Values and Beliefs Values- culturally defined standards that people use to decide what is desirable, good, and beautiful and that serve as broad guidelines for social living. Values are what people who share a culture use to make choices about how to live Beliefs: Specific thoughts or ideas that people hold to be true. In other words values are abstract standards of goodness and beliefs are particular matters that individuals consider true or false. Key values of U.S. culture Equal Opportunity Achievement and Success Material Comfort Activity and Work Practicality and Efficiency Progress Science Democracy and Free Enterprise Freedom Racism and Group Superiority Norms Rules and expectations by which a society guides the behavior of its members? Some norms are Proscripted-we should not do Prescriptive- what we should do Mores and folkways- Mores- norms that are widely observed and have great moral significance ?taboos Folkways- norms for routine or causal interaction ?ex: proper dress Social Control Attempts by society to regulate people?s thoughts and behaviors Doing wrong ?shame, guilt Ideal and Real Culture Values and norms do not describe actual behavior so much as they suggest how we should behave. Ideal culture differs from real culture. Material Culture and Technology Artifacts-physical human creations Technology- knowledge that people use to make a way of life in their surroundings Cultural Diversity: Many Ways of Life in One World Monoculture Multicultural High Culture and Popular Culture High Culture: cultural patterns that distinguish a societies elite Popular Culture: cultural patterns that are widespread among a society?s population. Subculture Cultural patterns that set apart some segment of society?s population Multiculturalism A perspective recognizing the cultural diversity of the Unites States and promoting equal standing for all cultural traditions Counter-culture Cultural patterns that strongly oppose those widely accepted within a society Cultural Change Cultural integration: the close relationships among various elements of a cultural system Cultural lag: the fact that some cultural elements change more quickly than others, disrupting a cultural system Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism Ethnocentrism: the practice of judging another culture by the standards of one?s own culture. Cultural Relativism: the practice of judging another culture by its own standards. A Global Culture People all over wearing jeans, listening to familiar music, and many other things? The global economy: the flow of goods- spread to consumer goods Global communications: the flow of information- we can experience things that are happening half way around the world Global Migration: the flow of people-in most countries lots of people were born in a different country then they are living now Theoretical Analysis of Culture Structural-Functional analysis Culture is a complex strategy for meeting human needs. Thinking functionally helps us understand an unfamiliar way of life. Cultural Universals: traits that are part of every known culture. George Murdock identified many of cultural universals. Ex: Family, Children, Funeral rites, Jokes and more. The strength of the structural functional approach is that it shows how culture operates to meet human needs. Yet by emphasizing a society?s dominate cultural patterns this approach largely ignores cultural diversity. Also, because this approach emphasizes cultural stability, it downplays the importance of change. In short, cultural systems are not as stable nor a matter of as much agreement as structural functionalism leads us to believe. Inequality and Culture: Social Conflict Analysis *Stresses the link between culture and inequality, and cultural trait, from this point of view, benefits some members of society at the expense of others Marxists argue that culture is shaped by a society?s system of economic production. Social conflict theory is rooted in the philosophical doctrine of materialism which holds that society?s system of material production it has a powerful effect on the rest of the culture. Social-Conflict ties our cultural values of competitiveness and material success to our country?s capitalist economy. Teaches us to think that Rich and Powerful= Working Harder and Longer The strains of inequality can eventually cause movements for social change. Ex: civil rights movement, Women?s Movement. The social conflict approach suggests that cultural systems do not address human needs equally allowing some people to dominate others. This inequity in turn generates pressure toward change. Yet by stressing the divisiveness of culture, this approach understates the ways that cultural patterns integrate members of society. We should therefore consider both social conflict and structural functional insights for a fuller understanding of culture. Evolution and Culture: Sociobiology Sociobiology: a theoretical approach that explores ways in which human biology affects how we create culture. Sociobiology was introduces by Charles Darwin. Darwin stated that living organisms change over long periods of time as a result of natural selection. There are four principles: All living things live to reproduce themselves The blueprint for reproduction is in the genes, the basic units of life that carry traits of one generation into the nest, Some random variation in genes allows a species to try our new life patterns in a particular environment. This allows organisms to survive better than others and pass on their advantageous genes to their offspring. Over thousands of generations, the genetic patterns that promote reproduction survive and become dominate. A species adapts to its environment and dominant traits emerge as the nature of the organism Culture Structural Functional Approach Social Conflict Approach Sociobiology Approach What is the level of analysis? Macro-level Macro-level Macro-level That is culture? Culture is a system of behavior by which members of societies cooperate to meet their needs. Culture is a system that benefits come people and disadvantages others. Culture is a system of behavior that is partly shaped by human biology. What is the foundation of culture? Cultural patterns are rooted in society?s values and beliefs. Cultural patterns are rooted in a society?s system of economic production. Cultural patterns are rooted in humanity?s biological evolution. What core questions does the approach ask? How does a cultural pattern help society operate? What cultural patterns are found in all societies? How does a cultural pattern benefit some people and harm others? How does a cultural pattern support social inequality? How does a cultural pattern help a species adapt to its environment? Culture and Human Freedom Culture as a Constraint Humans cannot live without culture. We may be the only animal to name ourselves, but living in a symbolic world means that we are also the only creatures that experiences alienation. Culture is largely a matter of habit; it limits our choices and drives us to repeat patterns. Culture as Freedom Human beings are cultural creatures. Biological instincts create a ready-made world; culture forces us to choose as we make and remake a world for ourselves. It creates human diversity. Making the grade: Culture Pages 85-87
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