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Culture The knowledge, language, values, customs, and material objects that are passed from person to person and from one generation to the next in a human group or society. ▫ Society consists of people, but culture consists of ideas, behavior and material possessions ▫ Society and culture are interdependent ▫ Culture can unify or divide people ▫ Appreciation of diversity among cultures is increasingly important as global communication increases
Culture • Culture is essential for survival and communication with other people. ▫ Provides shared rules for societies to create order • Culture is learned through interaction, observation and imitation.
Material Culture • Physical creations that members of a society make, use, and share. ▫ Items of material culture begin as raw materials such as iron ore, trees, and oil. ▫ They are transformed through technology. ▫ Sociologists define technology as knowledge, techniques, and tools that make it possible for people to transform resources into usable forms, and the skills required to use them after they are developed. ▫ Look around the room.
Nonmaterial Culture • Abstract or intangible human creations of society that influence people’s behavior. ▫ Language, beliefs, values, rules of behavior, family patterns, and political systems are examples of nonmaterial culture. ▫ A central component of nonmaterial culture is beliefs.
Cultural Universals • Anthropologist George Murdock compiled a list of over seventy cultural universals or customs and practices that occur across all societies. • Examples: ▫ ▫ Appearance (bodily adornment, hairstyles) Activities (sports, dancing, games, joking) Social institutions (family, law, religion) Practices (cooking, folklore, gift giving)
Components of Culture Symbol Language Values Norms Anything that meaningfully represents something else. Symbols that express ideas and enable people to communicate. Collective ideas about what is right or wrong and good or bad. Established rules of behavior or standards of conduct.
Language & Social Reality • Sapir–Whorf Hypothesis ▫ According to this theory, language shapes the view of reality of its speakers. • If people are able to think only through language, then language must precede thought. • Most sociologists believe that language influences behavior but they do not determine it
Language & Gender • Examples of situations in which the English language ignores women include using the masculine gender to refer to human beings in general, and nouns that show the gender of the person we expect in a particular occupation ▫ Chairman ▫ Mankind ▫ Man = all human beings
Language and Gender Male Term Female Term Neutral Term Teacher Worker /employee Working mother Worker /employee Janitor/ maintenance man Maid/ cleaning lady Custodial attendant
Perspectives & Language • Functionalist perspective? • From the functionalist perspective, a shared language is essential to a common culture; language is a stabilizing force in society. • Conflict Perspective? • Conflict theorists view language as a source of power and social control; it perpetuates inequalities between people and between groups because words are used to "keep people in their place. "
• What do you or what do other people value in our society? Please explain why?
Values • Collective ideas about what is right or wrong, good or bad and desirable or undesirable in a particular culture • They do not tell which behaviors are appropriate but they provide evaluative criteria • Typically come in pairs of positive or negative values ▫ Example: Brave or cowardly • Functionalist theorists tend to believe that shared values are essential for societies and have conducted most of the research on "core"
Ten Core American Values • Sociologist Robin Williams has identified ten "core" values as being important to people in the United States. 1. Individualism (people are responsible for their own success of failure) 2. Achievement and Success (competition with others) 3. Activity and Work (work & industriousness are always praised) 4. Science and Technology (we expect S & T to control nature, aging process and even death) 5. Progress and Material Comfort
Ten Core American Values 6. Efficiency and Practicality (How well does it work? And Is this a realistic thing to do? ) 7. Equality (. . of opportunity) 8. Morality and Humanitarianism 9. Freedom and Liberty 10. Racism and Group Superiority (people value their own racial or ethnic group above all others)
Value Contradictions • Exist when sets of values conflict with one another or are mutually exclusive (achieving one makes it difficult to achieve another) • Example: morality and humanitarianism may conflict with individual achievement and success ▫ HOW?
Ideal vs. Real Culture • Ideal culture refers to the values and standards of behavior that people in a society profess to hold • Real culture refers to the values and standards of behavior that people actually follow • Examples: ▫ “’Til death do us part” vs. high divorce rate ▫ “Drink Responsibly” vs. High rate of binge drinking on campuses
Norms • Norms are established rules of behavior or standards of conduct. • Prescriptive norms state what behavior is appropriate or acceptable. • Proscriptive norms state what behavior is inappropriate or unacceptable.
Formal and Informal Norms • Formal norms are written down and involve specific punishments for violators. ▫ Laws are the most common type of formal norms. • Informal norms are unwritten standards of behavior understood by people who share a common identity. ▫ When individuals violate informal norms, people may apply informal sanctions.
Sanctions • Rewards for appropriate behavior or penalties for inappropriate behavior ▫ Positive sanctions: praise, honors, pay raise or medals ▫ Negative sanctions: range from mild disapproval to the death penalty ▫ Formal sanctions: can only be applied by persons in official positions like cops or judges ▫ Informal sanctions: can be applies by anyone (i. e. a frown
Fill in this chart. Decide how sanctions are used at CRN. Positive Sanctions Formal Sanctions Informal Sanctions Negative Sanctions
Folkways • Everyday customs that may be violated without serious consequences within a particular culture. • In the United States, folkways include: ▫ Using underarm deodorant ▫ Brushing our teeth ▫ Wearing appropriate clothing for a specific occasion ▫ Forget to hold the door for someone
Mores • Strongly held norms with moral and ethical connotations that may not be violated without serious consequences. ▫ Taboos are mores so strong that violation is considered extremely offensive and even unmentionable. ▫ The incest taboo, which prohibits sexual relations between certain kin, is an example of a nearly universal
Laws • Formal, standardized norms that have been enacted by legislatures and are enforced by formal sanctions. ▫ Civil law deals with disputes among persons or groups. ▫ Criminal law deals with public safety and wellbeing.
Cultural Change • Why do cultural norms change? 1. How many girls in the room would feel comfortable asking someone out on a date? 2. Who is responsible for paying for the first date? When does this change? 3. Do people really date anymore? 4. What other cultural norms have changed drastically from maybe your parents or grandparents childhood?
Cultural Change • Discovery: process of learning about something previously unknown ▫ Mostly through scientific research today • Invention: process of reshaping existing cultural items into a new form ▫ Guns, video games, planes, Facebook • Diffusion: transmission of cultural items or social practices from one group or society to another through exploration, military endeavors, the media, tourism and immigration ▫ We can buy almost any kind of food in Doylestown • Cultural imperialism: refers to the extensive infusion of one nation’s culture into other nations ▫ Mc. Donald’s is all over the globe
Cultural Lag • Sociologist William Ogburn, coined the term “Cultural lag” as being a gap between the technical development of a society and its moral and legal institutions. • The gap between the time something is introduced and the time it is integrated into a cultures’ value system. • Possible examples: ▫ Medical procedures and ethics like cloning, stem cell research etc. ▫ Global warming
Cultural Diversity (it’s not an old Civil War ship) • Wide range of cultural differences between and within nations are caused by: ▫ Natural circumstances: Climate, geography ▫ Social circumstances: Technology, composition of the population ▫ Some nations like Sweden are homogenous, while we are heterogenous ▫ Immigration contributes to diversity
Cultural of Victimization • Idea that nothing is our fault • Tendency in the US to point the finger at any and everyone and not take responsibility for our own action • Read “Don’t Blame Me” • Do you believe this idea of America having a don’t blame me culture? • Where else in your life, pop culture, or politics where you have seen the “Don’t Blame Me Culture”?
Subcultures • Group of people who share a distinctive set of cultural beliefs and behaviors that differ in some significant way from that of the larger society ▫ Can you think of any subcultures that we have recently talked about? ▫ Any others off the top of your head?
Subcultures… • • Star Wars fans Jersey Shore fans Twilighters Harry Potter fans http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=Tx 1 XIm 6 q 4 r 4
Counterculture • A subculture that strongly rejects dominant societal values and norms and seeks alternative lifestyles 1. Polygamists 2. Radical Militia groups 3. Greenpeace 4. Beatniks of the 1950’s 5. Hippies of the 1960’s Other counter cultures today? ? ?
What is the difference? Counter Culture Subculture • “Counter” ▫ AGAINST • Large movements cause social change • AGAINST mainstream culture • Examples: ▫ Civil Rights ▫ Gay Rights ▫ Rock and Roll ▫ Hippies • ‘SUB” ▫ Prefix means UNDER • Common interests and experiences. • Within main stream cultures • Examples: ▫ “Emos” ▫ “Goths” ▫ “Pot Heads”
Culture Shock, Ethnocentrism, and Cultural Relativism • Culture shock refers to the disorientation that people experience when they encounter cultures radically different from their own. ▫ Napoleon Chagnon, an American anthropologist (who taught at PSU) , experienced culture shock when he went to live with the Yanomamo tribe in South America
Culture Shock, Ethnocentrism, and Cultural Relativism • Ethnocentrism is the practice of judging all other cultures by one’s own culture ▫ Typically, one’s own culture is thought to be superior to others ▫ A biased “cultural yardstick” • Cultural relativism is the belief that the behaviors and customs of a society must be viewed analyzed within in the context of that specific culture ▫ A more accurate and less biased understanding
Ethnocentrism vs. Cultural Relativism Central American Hotel Room
High Culture and Popular Culture • High culture consists of activities patronized by elite audiences, composed of members of the upper-middle and upper classes. ▫ Examples: classical music, opera, ballet, live theater • Popular culture consists of activities, products, and services that are assumed to appeal to members of the middle and working classes. ▫ Examples: Rock concerts,
Three Forms of Popular Culture 1. Fads: a temporary but widely copied activity followed enthusiastically by large numbers of people. � According to sociologist John Lofland, object fads are items that people purchase despite the fact that they have little use or intrinsic value. (i. e. Harry Potter wands) � Activity Fads: surfing the web, body piercing etc. � Idea fads: New age ideologies � Personality fads: Kardashianism,
Three Forms of Popular Culture 2. Fashion: A style of behavior, thinking, or appearance that is longer lasting and more widespread than a fad. 3. Leisure activities
Cultural Imperialism • The extensive infusion of one nation’s culture into other nations. �Some consider the use of the English language in countries that speak other languages as a form of cultural imperialism. • If the world develops a global culture, it will likely include a diffusion of literature, music, clothing and food from many societies and cultures. • Americanization of the Globe: Mc. Donald’s, Chili’s, TGIFriday’s,
Mc. Donaldization of Society Mc. Donaldization: the principles of the fast food restaurant coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as of the rest of the world. (George Ritzer , The Mc. Donaldization of Society , 1993) What are the elements that make Mc. Donalds so great?
Four Elements of Mc. Donaldization: 1. Efficiency: the search for the optimum means to a given end ▫ Get your own refills 2. Calculability: things can be calculated, counted and quantified ▫ Bigger is BETTER! 3. Predictability: things are the same from one time or place to another ▫ A Big Mac is a Big Mac anywhere! 4. Control (of people) through replacement of human with nonhuman technology ▫ Ordering screens/self checkout
Calculated in September, 2011
What do Functionalist Peeps “say”? • Popular culture serves a significant purpose in society in that it may be the "glue" that holds society together. • Regardless of race, class, sex, age, or other characteristics, many people are brought together (at least in spirit) to cheer teams competing in major sporting events such as the Super Bowl or the
What do Conflict Peeps “say”? • Conflict perspectives assume that social life is a continuous struggle in which members of powerful groups seek to control scarce resources. • Values and norms help create and sustain the privileged position of the powerful in society while excluding others
What do Symbolic Peeps “say”? • People create, maintain, and modify culture as they go about their everyday activities. • People continually negotiate their social realities. • Values and norms are not independent realities that automatically determine our behavior. • Instead, we reinterpret them in each social situation we encounter.
Sociological Sum-Up of Culture helps people meet Functionalist biological, instrumental and expressive needs. Ideas can be used by the ruling class to affect members of other Conflict classes. People create, maintain, and Symbolic modify culture during their Interactionist everyday activities. Postmodern Culture is based on simulation of reality rather than reality itself.