Sociology Chapter Three: Culture
Sociology Chapter Three: Culture SOCI 1311-004
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by M.G on Tuesday September 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOCI 1311-004 at University of Texas at Arlington taught by Dr. Dorothy Kalanzi in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 34 views.
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Date Created: 09/13/16
Culture ● Culture ○ Refers to values, beliefs, behavior, and material objects that together form a people’s way of life ○ Values ■ Desired standards, considered good or beautiful ■ What is good or beautiful in our culture may not be good or beautiful in other cultures ● Capitalism ● Football ○ Example of aggression ○ Beliefs ■ Specific statements held to be true ● Every culture has beliefs ○ America used to believe that the woman’s role in society was in the kitchen ○ Nonmaterial culture ■ Intangible ideas ● Out in the abstract, you can hear it but not touch it ● Accents ○ You can immediately ascertain where it’s from but you can’t touch it ● Religion ● Music ○ Material culture ■ Tangible things ● Something that can be touched, smelled, etc. ■ Clothing ■ Toys ■ Art ■ Jewelry ■ Transportation ● Cultural Anthropology ○ Looks beyond our world to discover patterns and meanings another world (culture) may have ○ Example: a classroom chair on a desk ■ Why do we have chairs? ● Gives meaning to the classroom ■ Why does the chair have the shape it does? ● To help the student be attentive ■ Why not sit in stools? ● Students may spin around and not pay attention ● Experiences ○ All societies experience events like ■ Birth ● ■ Death ● Some see it as a passage from one world to another (ancient egypt) ● Some see death as the end ● Some see death as a constant cycle (like reincarnation) ● Cultural Views ○ Southern Europe ■ Widow s were required to shave their heads ○ India ■ Widow s were cremated at their husbands’ funerals ● Cultural Views (Grief) ○ Some weep loudly over the body of the deceased ■ In some cultures, if you don’t cry, people suspect you in the death ○ Some people internalize the grief and suppress it ■ Needs for survival ○ All societies attach different meanings to these events ○ This is why people have different beliefs and behaviors ● Ethnocentricity ○ The notion that our beliefs and behaviors are right and the behaviors and beliefs of other ethnicities/cultures are wrong ■ Think about clothing and breastfeeding. ● Clothing Around the World ○ Different cultures have different dress codes and meanings ● Cultural relativism ○ Understanding a culture in its own terms ○ Understanding behaviors or beliefs in terms of the ■ Purpose ■ Function ■ Meaning ● Cultural Transmission ○ How are beliefs and values handed down from generation to generation? ● Culture shock ○ Disorientation due to inability to make sense out of one’s surroundings ○ This can be experienced both through foreign and domestic travel ● Ideal culture ○ The way things should be (i.e, monogamy in US) ■ Behavior mandated by values and norms (i.e, Adam and Eve) ● Real culture ○ The way things actually occur in everyday life ■ Adultery ■ Samesex relationships ■ Swinging ● High Culture ○ Cultural patterns that distinguish a society’s elite ● Popular culture ○ Cultural patterns that are widespread throughout society ● Subculture ○ Cultural patterns that set apart some segment of society’s population ● Counterculture ○ Cultural patterns that strongly oppose those widely accepted within a society Culture pt 2 ● Cultural transmission of: ○ Values ○ Beliefs ○ Behavior ○ Material ○ Nonmaterial ● Music ● Dance ○ Ugandan dance ■ Why move the waist? ■ Why the costume? ■ Why the drums? ● Non material culture via the sound ■ Meaning ● Bravery ● Aggressiveness ● Joyous occasion ● Being the best ● Leading ● Drums ○ Communication and rhythm ● Scream ○ Communication, support ■ Name of the dance: Mbaga ● Wedding dance ■ Procreation/dancing word is kuzina ● Cultural relativism ○ Understanding cultural behaviors or beliefs in terms of their society ● Symbols ○ Anything that carries a particular meaning recognized by people who share culture ○ Meanings vary culture to culture ■ Can vary greatly within the same groups of people ● Language ○ Verbal ■ A system of symbols that allows people to communicate with each other ■ English ● Widely spoken as either an official first language or a secondary language ■ Spanish ● Mostly spoken in south and central america, secondary language in the US ○ Nonverbal language ■ Different gestures mean different things to different cultures ● Gesturing with index finger ○ U.S=Come here ○ Others = profane or insulting ○ Instead, it may be acceptable to beckon with the palm down, with more than one finger, or with the whole hand waving ● V sign ○ US = peace ○ Europe = victory ○ Palm in, in some cultures means ‘shove it’ ● Smiling ○ Japanese may smile when confused or angry ○ Others may smile when embarrassed ● Showing sole of foot/shoe ○ Rude in many cultures ○ Demonstrates disrespect ● Circle fingers, ok ○ Japan = money ○ brazil/germany=obsce ne ● Patting neighbor on the head ○ Asia= extremely upsetting ● Nodding ○ US = Yes ○ Bulgaria & Greece = No ● Burping ○ It could be a mistake ○ Wrong ○ In some asian cultures, it’s a sign of a good meal ○ Other cultures see it as a call of nature’ ● Norms ○ Rules and expectations that guide our behavior ○ Are socially constructed and taken for granted ○ We don’t pay much attention to them, but they control us ○ Types ■ Proscriptive ● Should not do, prohibited ○ In US, polygamy is prohibited ○ Nose picking ■ Prescriptive ● Prescribed, should do ○ Medicine, exercise ● Social Control ○ Means used to encourage conformity to norms ○ Guilt ■ Negative judgement we make about ourselves ○ Shaming ■ The painful sense that others disapprove of our actions ● Culture is: ○ Values ○ Beliefs ○ Behavior ○ Material and nonmaterial objects