Chapter 3 Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sarah Edelstein on Tuesday February 17, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 1001 at George Washington University taught by Dr Osborne in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 46 views.
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Date Created: 02/17/15
Chapter 3 What is Culture Culture is a complex phenomenon that seeks to elude all de nitions culture doesn t always portray the world in an accurate manner lCulture as societal subconsciousness l ctional congruence allows us to daydream and live vicariously gures give us a sense of control over our uncontrollable lives Definition of Good Culture gives your identity what you needed at that particular time The study of culture is basic and essential to sociology today it was not always so What are the elements of culture Each culture considers its own ways of doing things as natural Culture is learned normative socially transmitted and shared and relative adaptive not born with a culture gene Normative normal for you Socially Transmitted without people around us and agents of socialization we wouldn t have any culture to transmit adapts over time Components of Culture Language an abstract system of word meanings and symbols for all aspects of culture SapirWharf Hypothesis 0 Language precedes thought Language is not a given Language is culturally determined Language may color how we see the world Differences in language provides differences in thinking The structure of language strongly in uences worldview Language comes before you can think in uences how we think foundation for culture Nonverbal Communication use of gestures facial expressions and other visual images to communicate Learned 0 Different in different cultures Material and NonMaterial Culture Material items you can taste touch feel etc NonMaterial nonphysical products of society Norms Established standards of behavior maintained by a society 0 Formal norms generally unwritten specify strict punishments Informal norms generally understood but not precisely recorded 0 Moves norms deemed highly necessary to the welfare of a society 0 Falkway norms governing everyday behavior Sanctions Penalties and rewards for conduct concerning social norms Positive Sanctions pay raises medals and words of gratitude Negative Sanctions res threats imprisonment states of contempt Values Collective ideas about what is good desirable and proper or bad undesirable and improper In uence people s behavior 0 Criteria for evaluating actions of others 0 Values change Each culture considers its own ways of doing things as natural Culture lndustry philosopher Theodor Adorno standardizes the goods and services demanded by customers Cultural Universals certain common practices and beliefs developed by all societies l adaptions to meet human needs George Murdock l listed universals that vary from culture to culture Ethnocentrism William Graham Sumner the tendency to assume that one s own culture and the way of life represent the norm or are superior to all others lan ethnocentric person uses hisher culture to de ne culture and views other cultures as deviations from normal Cultural Relativism viewing people s behaviors from the perspectives of their own culture we must examine practices like polygamy bull ghting and monarchy within particular cultures Sociobiology the systematic study of how biology affects human social behavior l sociobiologists say that many cultural traits human display are not learned by rooted in our genetic makeup women s and men s gender roles Innovation the process of introducing a new idea or object to a culture interests sociologists because of the social consequences that come from introducing something new Two types of Innovation 1 Discovery making known or sharing the existence of an aspect of reality nding the structure of the DNA molecule l sharing new knowledge with others 2 Invention when existing cultural items are combined into a form that did not exist before Diffusion the process by which a cultural item spreads from group to group or society to society I can occur through different means exploration military conquest missionary work and in uence of mass media tourism and the internet George Ritzer McDonaldization of Society how the principles of fastfood chains developed in the USA have come to dominate societies internationally Technology sociologist Gerhard Lenski quotcultural information about the ways in which the material resources of the environment may be used to satisfy human needs and desiresquot William F Ogburn l distinction between materal and nonmaterial Cultural Lag a period of maladjustment when the nonmaterial culture is still struggling to adapt to new material conditions Subculture segment of society that shares a distinctive pattern of customs rules traditions that differ from the patterns of the larger society lArgot specialized language developed by subcultures that distinguishes it from the wider society Counterculture when a subculture conspicuously and deliberately opposes certain aspects of the larger culture
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