Culture What is Culture l Culture Values beliefs

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Culture

Culture

What is Culture? l Culture: ¡Values, beliefs, behavior, and material objects that constitute a

What is Culture? l Culture: ¡Values, beliefs, behavior, and material objects that constitute a peoples way of life ¡What we think, how we act, what we own

Types of Culture l Nonmaterial ¡Ideas created by members of society l Material ¡Physical

Types of Culture l Nonmaterial ¡Ideas created by members of society l Material ¡Physical things created by members of society

l Culture shapes what we do, think, feel l Most people think of their

l Culture shapes what we do, think, feel l Most people think of their culture as “natural” or “normal” l Culture Shock ¡Personal disorientation when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life ¡Can experience in the U. S. , but more so when traveling abroad

l Only humans rely on culture rather than instinct to create a way of

l Only humans rely on culture rather than instinct to create a way of life and insure survival

Culture and Human Intelligence l Homo sapiens ¡Latin for “thinking person” ¡Replaced instincts with

Culture and Human Intelligence l Homo sapiens ¡Latin for “thinking person” ¡Replaced instincts with a more efficient survival scheme l. Fashioning the natural environment for ourselves

Culture, Nation, Society l Culture ¡Refers to a shared way of life l Nation

Culture, Nation, Society l Culture ¡Refers to a shared way of life l Nation ¡Political entity, territory with designated borders l Society ¡The organized interaction of people who typically live in a nation or specific territory

Elements of Culture l All cultures have common elements ¡Symbols ¡Language ¡Values ¡Norms

Elements of Culture l All cultures have common elements ¡Symbols ¡Language ¡Values ¡Norms

Symbols l Anything that carries a particular meaning recognized by people who share a

Symbols l Anything that carries a particular meaning recognized by people who share a culture l Become very aware of symbols when used in an unconventional way ¡Burning a flag

Language l System of symbols that allows people to communicate with one another l

Language l System of symbols that allows people to communicate with one another l Key to Cultural Transmission ¡Process by which one generation passes culture to the next

Sapir-Whorf Thesis l States that people see and understand the world through the cultural

Sapir-Whorf Thesis l States that people see and understand the world through the cultural lens of language l World changes negro to black then to African American then to person of color

Values and Beliefs l Values ¡Culturally defined standards that people use to decide what

Values and Beliefs l Values ¡Culturally defined standards that people use to decide what is desirable, good, and beautiful and that serve as broad guidelines for social living ¡Used to make choices about how to live

l Beliefs ¡Specific thoughts or ideas that people hold to be true ¡Abstract standards

l Beliefs ¡Specific thoughts or ideas that people hold to be true ¡Abstract standards of goodness ¡What is right and wrong

Key Values of U. S. Culture l U. S. culture is very diverse because

Key Values of U. S. Culture l U. S. culture is very diverse because of immigration and creativity l Sociologist Robin Williams (1970) identified 10 key cultural values

l 1. Equal Opportunity ¡provide everyone with the chance to get ahead

l 1. Equal Opportunity ¡provide everyone with the chance to get ahead

l 2. Achievement and Success ¡encourages competition ¡rewards should reflect merit

l 2. Achievement and Success ¡encourages competition ¡rewards should reflect merit

l 3. Material Comfort ¡pursuit of money ¡but we say that “money won’t buy

l 3. Material Comfort ¡pursuit of money ¡but we say that “money won’t buy happiness”

l 4. Activity and Work ¡active culture ¡get the job done ¡control events instead

l 4. Activity and Work ¡active culture ¡get the job done ¡control events instead of passively accepting fate

l 5. Practicality and Efficiency ¡doers vs. dreamers ¡value in earning money ¡“Major in

l 5. Practicality and Efficiency ¡doers vs. dreamers ¡value in earning money ¡“Major in something that will help you get a job!”

l 6. Progress ¡present is better than the past ¡“very latest” = “very best”

l 6. Progress ¡present is better than the past ¡“very latest” = “very best”

l 7. Science ¡scientists should solve problems and improve our lives ¡look down on

l 7. Science ¡scientists should solve problems and improve our lives ¡look down on emotion and intuition as sources of knowledge

l 8. Democracy and Free Enterprise ¡Individuals have rights that the government cannot take

l 8. Democracy and Free Enterprise ¡Individuals have rights that the government cannot take away ¡Free elections ¡Individual consumers drive the economy

l 9. Freedom ¡Individual initiative over collective conformity ¡People should be free to pursue

l 9. Freedom ¡Individual initiative over collective conformity ¡People should be free to pursue their own goals

l 10. Racism and Group Superiority ¡Still judge people based on race, gender, ethnicity,

l 10. Racism and Group Superiority ¡Still judge people based on race, gender, ethnicity, and social class ¡We value l. Males above females l. Whites above people of color l. Rich above poor l. Some are “more equal” than others

Norms l Rules and expectations by which a society guides the behavior of its

Norms l Rules and expectations by which a society guides the behavior of its members l Proscriptive Norms state what we should not do l Prescriptive Norms state what we should do

l The most important norms in a culture apply at all times ¡Ex: parents

l The most important norms in a culture apply at all times ¡Ex: parents should expect obedience of children at all times

Mores l William Graham Sumner l Mores: refer to norms that are widely observed

Mores l William Graham Sumner l Mores: refer to norms that are widely observed and have great moral significance l Distinguish between right and wrong

Folkways l Norms for routine or casual interaction l Ex: appropriate greetings, proper dress

Folkways l Norms for routine or casual interaction l Ex: appropriate greetings, proper dress l Draw a line between right and rude

Social Control l Attempts by society to regulate people’s thoughts and behavior l Norms

Social Control l Attempts by society to regulate people’s thoughts and behavior l Norms ¡Make dealing with others more orderly and predictable

Ideal and Real Culture l Values and norms suggest how we should behave l

Ideal and Real Culture l Values and norms suggest how we should behave l Ideal culture always differs from real culture, what actually happens in our everyday life ¡“Do as I say, not as I do”

Material Culture and Technology l Every culture has artifacts ¡Physical human creations ¡Ex: Chinese

Material Culture and Technology l Every culture has artifacts ¡Physical human creations ¡Ex: Chinese eat with chopsticks Japanese have mats not rugs Men and women in India wear robes

l Artifacts reflect cultural values l Our society’s emphasis on individualism explains our regard

l Artifacts reflect cultural values l Our society’s emphasis on individualism explains our regard for cars ¡We own 233 million vehicles- more than 1 for every licensed driver

l Technology ¡Knowledge that people use to make a way of life in their

l Technology ¡Knowledge that people use to make a way of life in their surroundings ¡The more complex a society’s technology, the more they are able to shape the world for themselves

l Although we are advanced and live longer than others with less technology…. l

l Although we are advanced and live longer than others with less technology…. l …. we have higher stress levels and have created weapons capable of destroying the world

l Not everyone in our culture can afford technology or wants it l Ex:

l Not everyone in our culture can afford technology or wants it l Ex: the Amish ¡“islands of sanity in a culture gripped by commercialism and technology run wild” (Hostetler 1980: 4; Kraybill, 1994)

Postindustrial Production l Based on computers and other electronic devices that create, process, store,

Postindustrial Production l Based on computers and other electronic devices that create, process, store, and apply information

Cultural Diversity l Different accents Americans have based on what part of the country

Cultural Diversity l Different accents Americans have based on what part of the country they are from l We also have different: ¡Religions ¡Classes ¡Immigration has made us the most multicultural of all high-income countries

l Between 1820 -2007 over 75 million people came to the U. S. l

l Between 1820 -2007 over 75 million people came to the U. S. l About 1 million more come each year l Historically, people came from Europe l Today most come from Latin America and Asia

High Culture l Refers to cultural patterns that distinguish a society’s elite l We

High Culture l Refers to cultural patterns that distinguish a society’s elite l We think people who regularly go to the opera or theatre as “cultured” ¡They appreciate the “finer things in life”

Popular Culture l Designate cultural patterns that are widespread among a society’s population

Popular Culture l Designate cultural patterns that are widespread among a society’s population

Is High Culture Better than Pop Culture? l Not necessarily ¡Neither elites nor ordinary

Is High Culture Better than Pop Culture? l Not necessarily ¡Neither elites nor ordinary people share all the same tastes ¡Is high culture better because its supporters have more money, power, or prestige? ¡Ex: violin or fiddle?

Subculture l Cultural patterns that set apart some segment of a society’s population l

Subculture l Cultural patterns that set apart some segment of a society’s population l Ex: ¡People who ride “chopper motorcycles” ¡Traditional Korean Americans ¡New England “Yankees” ¡Ohio State football fans ¡Southern California “beach crowd”

l Most people participate in many subcultures l Subcultures involve differences and hierarchy ¡What

l Most people participate in many subcultures l Subcultures involve differences and hierarchy ¡What is dominant and mainstream are followed by powerful parts of the population ¡Disadvantaged= subculture

Exit Slip l What type of artifacts would archaeologists find from this area 50,

Exit Slip l What type of artifacts would archaeologists find from this area 50, 000 years from now? l Make a list of subcultures you fit into ¡Which are most important to you?

Culture Part 2

Culture Part 2

Counterculture l Cultural patterns that strongly oppose those widely accepted within a society

Counterculture l Cultural patterns that strongly oppose those widely accepted within a society

1960 s l Youth opposed mainstream culture ¡Overly competitive, self-centered, materialistic l Favored ¡“Being”

1960 s l Youth opposed mainstream culture ¡Overly competitive, self-centered, materialistic l Favored ¡“Being” instead of “Doing” ¡Personal growth or expanded consciousness

Multiculturalism l Perspective recognizing the cultural diversity of the U. S. and promoting equal

Multiculturalism l Perspective recognizing the cultural diversity of the U. S. and promoting equal standing for all cultural traditions

l Historically ¡English= majority ¡English was established early on as the ideal way of

l Historically ¡English= majority ¡English was established early on as the ideal way of life everyone should follow

Eurocentrism l Dominance of European (especially English) cultural patterns l Hard not to see

Eurocentrism l Dominance of European (especially English) cultural patterns l Hard not to see European culture as superior

Language l 1 in 6 Americans speak a language other than English in their

Language l 1 in 6 Americans speak a language other than English in their homes l Spanish is most common

Afrocentrism l Emphasizing and promoting African cultural patterns l Necessary after centuries of minimizing

Afrocentrism l Emphasizing and promoting African cultural patterns l Necessary after centuries of minimizing or ignoring achievements of Africans and African Americans

Opponents of Multiculturalism l Forces people to identify with a category rather than the

Opponents of Multiculturalism l Forces people to identify with a category rather than the nation as a whole l Harms minorities l May seem things from only 1 point of view

Cultural Change l There will always be change l Cultural Integration ¡The close relationships

Cultural Change l There will always be change l Cultural Integration ¡The close relationships among various elements of a cultural system

Cultural Lag l Caused by some cultural elements changing more quickly than others, disrupting

Cultural Lag l Caused by some cultural elements changing more quickly than others, disrupting a cultural system l Technology helps create new elements of material culture faster than nonmaterial culture can keep up with them

Causes of Cultural Change 1. 1. Invention - Process of creating new cultural elements

Causes of Cultural Change 1. 1. Invention - Process of creating new cultural elements Constant

2. Discovery - recognizing and understanding more fully something already in existence - ex:

2. Discovery - recognizing and understanding more fully something already in existence - ex: stars, food, women’s political leadership skills

3. Diffusion -the spread of cultural traits from one society to another -technology has

3. Diffusion -the spread of cultural traits from one society to another -technology has increased diffusion

Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism l Ethnocentrism ¡The practice of judging another culture by the

Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism l Ethnocentrism ¡The practice of judging another culture by the standards of one’s own culture l Cultural relativism ¡The practice of judging a culture by its own standards

Figure 3. 4 The View from “Down Under” North America should be “up” and

Figure 3. 4 The View from “Down Under” North America should be “up” and South America “down, ” or so we think. But because we live on a globe, “up” and “down” have no meaning at all. The reason this map of the Western Hemisphere looks wrong to us is not that it is geographically inaccurate; it simply violates our ethnocentric assumption that the United States should be “above” the rest of the Americas.

Theoretical Analysis of Culture l Structural-functional ¡Culture is a complex strategy for meeting human

Theoretical Analysis of Culture l Structural-functional ¡Culture is a complex strategy for meeting human needs. ¡Cultural universals–Traits that are part of every known culture; includes family, funeral rites, and jokes l Critical evaluation ¡Ignores cultural diversity and downplays importance of change

Inequality and Culture l Social-conflict ¡Cultural traits benefit some members at the expense of

Inequality and Culture l Social-conflict ¡Cultural traits benefit some members at the expense of others. ¡Approach rooted in Karl Marx and materialism; society’s system of material production has a powerful effect on the rest of a culture. l Critical evaluation ¡Understates the ways cultural patterns integrate members into society

Evolution and Culture l Sociobiology ¡ A theoretical paradigm that explores ways in which

Evolution and Culture l Sociobiology ¡ A theoretical paradigm that explores ways in which human biology affects how we create culture. ¡ Approach rooted in Charles Darwin and evolution; living organisms change over long periods of time based on natural selection. l Critical evaluation ¡ Might be used to support racism or sexism ¡ Little evidence to support theory; people learn behavior within a cultural system

Culture and Human Freedom l Culture as constraint ¡We only know our world in

Culture and Human Freedom l Culture as constraint ¡We only know our world in terms of our culture. l Culture as freedom ¡Culture is changing and offers a variety of opportunities. ¡Sociologists share the goal of learning more about cultural diversity.