Chapter 3 notes
Chapter 3 notes SO101E
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Camah Whitacre on Thursday February 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SO101E at Emporia State University taught by Westfall in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see Intro to sociology in Sociology at Emporia State University.
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Date Created: 02/04/16
Chapter 3 Sociology notes Culture The book: the language, beliefs, values, norms, behaviors and material objects passed from one generation to the next. Or… a complex system of meaning and behavior that defines the way of life for a society. Or… learned and shared ways of believing and doing. Or… Culture is the unique lens which we view the world through. Hardware & Software Material Culture (Hardware): Tangible items that are inherent to a society and are given meaning by it. Non-material culture (software): customs, beliefs and ways of thinking about the world. Where does culture come from? Without language Without ideas of “morality” Nationality Race/ethnicity Style/preference Republican/democrat Culture and Taken-for-granted Orientations What is normal, natural, or usual? The culture within us Culture as lens Culture shock Ethnocentrism Components of Symbolic Culture Symbol is something to which people attach meaning Gestures Symbols & symbolic culture Symbolic culture: material and non-material culture that communicates social information. Can include: gestures, languages, values, norms. Sanctions, folkways, and mores. Gestures Using ones body to communicate with others. Meanings of gestures vary across cultures. Language How can language create and reinforce culture? o Creates and transmits meaning o Defines group membership Values, Norms and Sanctions Social Values: ideas of what is desirable Social Norms: rules of behavior that develop out of group/cultural values. Social sanctions: the reaction people get for complying with, defying social norms. Folkways, Mores, and Taboos Folkways: Expectations that are not enforced consistently. Deviation form a folkway is not usually considered a serious threat to social organization and is thus sanctioned less severely than moral deviation. Mores: are often considered essential core values-may be codified in law Moral judgments that define wrong/right behavior, the allowed and the disallowed, what is wanted and not wanted within a culture. A violation of mores is usually considered by society as a threat to social organization and harshly sanctioned. Taboo: strongly prohibited/banned against words, objects, actions, discussions, or people that are considered undesirable/offensive. Breaking a taboo is usually considered repulsive and abhorrent. Often prohibited by law and severe punishments as well as embarrassment and shame. Sanctions Positive sanction: reward for observing a norm Negative sanction: expresses disapproval for breaking a norm Subcultures a group of people with distinctive values and culture embedded within larger social spheres. Subcultures are not necessarily at odds with the social values of society at large. Countercultures Groups whose values are at odds with the dominant culture Practicing cultural relativism: Nacirema Practices Beliefs Norms Culture Values, Norms, and Sanctions Values – what is desirable in life Norms – expectations or rules for behavior Sanctions – reaction to following or breaking norms o Positive sanctions o Negative sanctions Countercultures Subculture – a world within the dominant culture o Countercultures – groups with norms and values at odds with the dominant culture Values in U.S. Society Achievement and success Individualism Activity and work Efficiency and practicality Science and technology Progress Material comfort Humanitarianism Freedom Democracy Equality Racism and group superiority Education Religiosity Romantic love Values and culture Culture wars: when values clash Value as blinders “Ideal” vs. “Real” culture We came into this life… Without, well, clothes Without language Without values Without morality Without ideas about o Money o Love o Hate o War o Peace o Habits o Knowledge o Prejudice That is… Our ides Our behavior Our thoughts Our world Becomes the taken-for-granted right way the world is Cultural relativism There is nothing ‘Natural’ about material culture o Arabs wear gowns on the street and feel it is natural to do so There is nothing ‘Natural’ about nonmaterial culture o It is just as arbitrary to stand quietly in line as it is to push and shove Culture penetrates deep into our thinking, becoming a taken-for- granted lens Culture provides a ‘moral imperative’ Provides a fundamental basis for our decision making Getting to know Us… To know a culture, you must be an insider and to understand it you must be an outsider.
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