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Society & Culture

by: Angela Dela Llana

Society & Culture Soci 1311

Angela Dela Llana

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Intro to Sociology
Jason Shelton
Class Notes
introduciton, sociology, Society, Culture
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Angela Dela Llana on Saturday September 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Soci 1311 at University of Texas at Arlington taught by Jason Shelton in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 58 views.


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Date Created: 09/10/16
SOCI 1311 Chapter 3: Society & Culture Society Society can be defined as a group of people who live in the same geographic area, interact with one another, and share many elements of a common culture. Every culture has a society, and every culture exists within a society. Sociocultural evolution is the process by which a society grows more complex over time. Technology has a lot to do with how a society evolves. With sociocultural evolution, social structures grow in size and number. Examples include the growth of government and the appearance and growth of mass media. Scholars generally agree that there have been three sociocultural revolutions: the agricultural revolution, the industrial revolution, and the information revolution. Society is very different after each of these periods. With the agricultural revolution, humans had figured out how to farm. Before, humans were nomadic because they had to follow animal herds and gather plants. Farming allowed societies to settle and grow around the land, and as a result, society can grow more advanced. nomadic lifestyles, they could focus on making laws, educating their children, etc. With the industrial revolution, people figured out how to harness coal and went from farming to factories. Society focused on mass production and grew even more technological through finding better and faster ways to mass produce items. With the information revolution, information is at our fingertips. People can readily discover is faster and easier, and the world gets smaller. Assimilation for immigrants is harder because of the information revolution. Before, immigrants were completely cut off from their homeland as soon as they left it. Now, they can communicate with family and friends in their homeland through social media, stay up-to-date with current events, and even enjoy television. Ethnic groups can now hold onto their culture. There are six types of societies: hunting-gathering, pastoral, horticultural, agrarian, industrial, post-industrial. A hunting-gathering society hunts, gathers plants, and fishes with simple technology such as a spear. A pastoral society domesticates animals to sustain itself. A horticultural society uses hand tools to grow crops. An agrarian society depends on crops raised with plows, draft animals (domesticated animals used in drawing heavy loads), and intensive agricultural methods. An industrial society relies on advanced technology to produce and distribute food, information, goods, and services. A postindustrial society focuses on the production of services instead of the production of goods. We are now in a postindustrial society. In the 1950s, more than half of working men worked in a factory. Now that there is less reliance on manufacturing and factories, less than 20 percent of men work in a factory. Other nations still need factories. American companies send their factories to countries like Mexico, Vietnam, and India. These nations are still in the industrial era and want those factory jobs. In the modern world, you have to use your brain more than your hands when you work. Culture Culture is a learned set of beliefs, values, norms, and material goods shared by members of a group. We essentially come out of the womb as blank slates and have to be taught our culture. We have to be taught how to be a member of a group but also people with the same music taste. Culture prov Culture consists of everything learned over the life-course. We start learning culture the minute stop learning it until we die. For most of American history, female babies were wrapped in pink blankets and male babies were wrapped in blue blankets. This is an example of culture working newly born members of a society. Society is already socializing those babies according to gender. There are two aspects of culture: material culture and non-material culture. Material culture includes clothing, food, art, and architecture. These things represent culture and can be touched. Non-material culture includes language, beliefs, values, and attitudes. These are intangible and Components of Culture There are five components of culture: language (symbols), norms, values, beliefs, and technology. Language is a complex system of symbols with meaning that people use to communicate. Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (linguistic relativity thesis) holds the idea that different cultures see the world differently due to speaking different languages. Researchers studied specific definitions for blue, while English-speaking Americans have around two to three. The Eskimo understanding of blue is much wider. Norms are expectations and rules for proper conduct that guide interaction. There is a norm for every situation. Folkways for committing a folkway. People will look at you differently when you commit a folkway. Examples include picking your nose in public, not washing your hands after using toilet, and not wearing appropriate clothing. Mores committing a more, but you can make people upset. Mores can be very controversial, and people will look at you very differently. Not all of us have the same sense of morality, so some actions might be more offensive to some than others. Examples include not standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance, burning the American flag, and adultery. Laws are formal rules enacted and enforced by the government in order to regulate morality and order. Some mores are deemed so important that we make them into law. A law is just a more that people think is more important than other mores. There is a lot of gray area since not all of us have the same sense of morality. Laws are all about politics and power. For example, there is a lot of debate over the legalization of marijuana. Taboos are actions and elicit a sense of disgust. Examples include cannibalism and incest. These four norms elicit come kind of response in regards to morals. Sanctions can be either a reward for adhering to the norms or a penalty for defying them. Values are shared ideas about what is considered desirable and correct. They rankings of what we think is good or bad, right or wrong, attractive or unattractive. They can differ from person to person. Beliefs are opinions about reality. They are our own judgements about what we think is going on in society, what is right and wrong. Our beliefs are based on our values. Values tend to be lifelong and are more profound and deep- seated, while beliefs tend to change. For example, you always value the idea of having a nice car, but your idea of what a nice car is might change. Technology turns old cultures into new cultures. It is a sign of how much society has evolved. Technology is a material aspect of culture. Cultural Diversity & Conflict A sub-culture is a group that shares many elements of the dominant culture but maintains its own distinct customs, values, norms, and lifestyles. They can be based on race, religion, politics, sexual orientation, and other commonalities. Dominant culture can be described as mainstream. A sub-culture is essentially a smaller culture that exists within a larger culture. It provides emotional and social support to members of a group. You feel a sense of comradery and friendship. Examples include hip-hop enthusiasts, Little Italy, and Chinatown. A counter-culture is a group that rejects the values and standards of the dominant society and hopes to provide an alternative to the mainstream. It can also be considered a threat to the mainstream. Some are radical groups that are willing to use violence as a means to change society, examples being the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Panthers. Others were not necessarily violent, like the hippie subculture. Culture shock involves feelings of confusion and disorientation when we encounter a culture that is very d omething that goes on within our own minds. have to be shocked or confused, but there is something bothering us to the point that it makes us uncomfortable. Culture shock eventually wears off. Ethnocentrism is the tendency to evaluate another culture based on the standards of our own culture. There is fine line between pride and prejudice. You can have so much pride in your own culture that you part of your culture. Cultural relativism is the notion that we should compare one culture to itself instead of comparing it to other cultures. This way, we can see how a culture has changed over time and figure out how and why they believe something. Cultural relativism stresses that you compare two cultures because they are too fundamentally different. Multiculturalism is a respect and appreciation for various groups. You try not to show prejudice against some cultures for their differing beliefs and values. American Culture American culture is a mix of various cultures due to the diverse population of the United States. American culture values freedom, individualism, and hard work.


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