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Module 1 Book Notes

by: Andrea Sietsema

Module 1 Book Notes 318

Marketplace > Michigan State University > ISS > 318 > Module 1 Book Notes
Andrea Sietsema
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About this Document

Covers module 1 in the book.
Lifespan Development Across Culture
C. Mcgreal
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Andrea Sietsema on Friday September 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 318 at Michigan State University taught by C. Mcgreal in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see Lifespan Development Across Culture in ISS at Michigan State University.


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Date Created: 09/16/16
Module 1-A The Nature of Culture What is culture?  Anthropologists use the term culture to refer to all the customs, attitudes, values, and beliefs of members of a society.  People learn what kinds of behaviors are appropriate and inappropriate through family, social groups, and communities  Acquire elements of culture through interactions with others  “Set of practices and beliefs” and “particular group of people”  Cultural Knowledge-information that enables people to function in their society and contributes to the survival of the society as a whole o Ex. How to make a living, what clothes to wear, why people do the things they do, religious beliefs, scientific theories  Social and cultural skills o Ex. Activities/ practices to get food, clothe, shelter, organizing, leadership, decision making Characteristics of Culture  Culture=behaviors and beliefs shared by members of a group o Help achieve common goals o Social status, age, gender, race, and ethnicity create differences in attitudes and values of peoples lives  Culture is shared o Behaviors, attitudes, and ideas are formed through interaction with others o Do not act alone or share ideas all to ourselves o Differences in how people experience and think about their lives o Cultural models- shared assumptions that people have about the world and about the ideal culture o Norms- sets of expectations and attitudes that people have about appropriate behavior  Deviant behavior not tolerated  some deviant behavior may be marker for a particular group  Ex. Body piercings, tattoos o Subculture- a group whose members and others think of their way of life as different in some significant way from that of other people in the larger society  Culture is learned o Is acquired rather than inherited o Enculturation- learning one’s culture through informal observation and formal instruction o Culture influences how people satisfy physical and survival needs o Attitudes and actions seem natural because enculturation (socialization) is so strong o Taboos- Norms specifying behaviors that are prohibited in a culture  Ex. Urinating in public, sleeping at inappropriate times, sexual relations with relatives  Culture is adaptive o Aspects of behavior and belief are responses to environmental constraints and the need to ensure a community’s survival o Adapt to their environment o Can survive in any environment and climate due to inventions and cultural practices they develop o Cultural core- practices by which people organize their work and produce food and other goods necessary for their survival o Some practices may become maladaptive over time or not be adaptive in a different context  Ex. Use of chemical fertilizers increase productivity in the short run but are maladaptive in the long run  Culture is integrated (bring together) o Cultural integration- tendency for people’s practices and beliefs to form a relatively coherent and consistent system o Practices and beliefs that form a relatively coherent and consistent system (patterned and interrelated in systemic ways) o Economy, social organizations, family organization, and government are closely intertwined  Ex. Religious beliefs guide all aspects of life o Change in one aspect leads to changes in others o When cultural traits are borrowed from other people, they are altered and adapt to fit the borrower’s norms and expectations  Culture is symbolic o People’s behavior and understanding of the world are based on meanings expressed through language, art, and symbolic objects o Symbols- words, images, or objects that stand for cultural ideas or sentiments o Ex. Language- most obvious and powerful symbolic system  Ex. Humor  Symbolic interactions between individual using verbal and nonverbal language o Ex. Flags- represent a country, territory, cultural unit  May also represent attitudes and beliefs  Ex. After 9/11 flags were flown to show support for “war on terror” o Also use objects and rituals o Religion is filled with symbolic meaning  Ex. Books, images, foodstuffs…evoke powerful emotions o  Culture organizes how people think about the world o Through learning and interacting with other members of a society they absorb an array of underlying, taken for granted assumptions that help integrate their activities and beliefs o Naturalized concepts- ideas and behaviors so deeply embedded in a culture that they are regarded as universally normal or natural o Concepts become naturalized o All societies have a core of naturalized ideas  Ex. Taken for granted that people want to own property and be wealthy  Peoples attitudes and values about wealth stem from economic system they live in  Ex. Models of gender are naturalized in people’s behaviors and attitudes  Believe that men’s and women’s roles are derived from qualities, feelings and needs inherent in women and men rather than derived from culture o Culture wars- internal disagreements in a society about cultural models or about how society or the world should be organized  Ex. Antipathy between conservatives and liberals over gun control, abortion rights, gay rights, and immigration policy o Counterculture- an alternative cultural model within a society that expresses different views about the way that society should be organized  Ex. The hippies of 1960’s- rejected prevailing puritanical attitudes towards sex o Worldview- a culture-based, often ethnocentric way that people see the world and other people Culture Change  Culture=dynamic systems changing due to internal and external forces o Internal- emerging from new practices and attitudes, technological innovations or adaptions to the consequences of earlier practices o External-borrow ides or artifacts from their neighbors or through migration, trade, and other contacts o Leads to new adaptive strategies, customs, technologies and ideas o People define themselves through a process of ethnogenesis o Modernization and revolution (broad culture changes) are internal changes influenced by external forces  Culture contact- direct interaction between peoples of different cultures through migration, trade, invasion, or conquest o people borrow traits from other groups o people adapt outside cultural borrowings to their own culture o Syncretism- a cultural product is created when people adapt a cultural item selectively borrowed from another culture to fit their existing culture o items borrowed through diffusion are modified to fit the existing culture  Ex. Religion- People combine elements of their own beliefs with those they learned from external sources o Invasion and conquest- colonized people forced to adopt practices and beliefs consistent with their rulers  Assimilation-process by which a less numerous and less powerful cultural group changes its ways and cultural identity to blend in with the dominant culture o Ex. Immigrants assimilate language and culture of new country  Acculturation-process by which a group adjusts to living within a dominant culture while at the same time maintaining its original cultural identity o Ex. Native Americans adapt dominant American culture economic and political systems but maintain their own language, family systems, and religious beliefs  Assimilated or acculturized when in close contact with dominant culture o Cultural pluralism- a society with diverse culture groups live side by side on equal terms and retain their distinctiveness o Modernization- complex culture change, both internal and external, based on industrialism and a transnational market economy o Concurred and oppressed people may undergo reactive adaption to cope with deprivation and loss Internal Culture Change  Cultural evolution- belief of early anthropologists that cultures evolve through various stages from a simpler and more primitive state to a complex and more culturally advanced state  Social Darwinism- early belief that cultures compete for survival of the fittest, as in the process of natural selection in biological evolution o Ex. Wealth and power of western societies due to natural and cultural superiority rather than consequences of historical processes o Failed to realize particular event and developments contribute to the ability of societies to dominate others  Cultural history- ongoing culture change in which people respond and adapt to their environment  Ethnogensis- ongoing process in which people develop, define, and direct their own cultural and ethnic identities o Continually creating and re-creating conditions of their lives o Ex. In art and public performance some behaviors that would have been unacceptable in the past are now standard o Ex. Violence is now being shown on t.v. more (was only shown from a distance years ago) o Nudity and sexuality in films o Language in films  Inventions- new technologies and systems of knowledge o Better adjust to conditions or deal with new problems  Innovation- process by which new technologies and systems of knowledge are based on or built from previous tools, knowledge, and skills o Stimulated by environmental challenges and opportunities  Revolution- process by which people try to change their culture or overturn the social order and replace it with a new, ideal society and culture o Ex. Industrial revolution- new technologies Eternal Culture Change  Migrate, trade, invade, intermarry, or interacting  Diffusion- spread of ideas, material objects, and cultural practices from one society to another through direct and indirect culture contact o Can be local  Ex. Invention of blow darts and poisons in South America o Can be widespread  Ex. agriculture  Invasion and conquest o Reactive adaption- coping response to loss and deprivation of captive, conquered, or oppressed people  Concurred and oppressed people may undergo reactive adaption to cope with deprivation and loss o Revitalization movement- type of nonviolent reactive adaption in which people try to resurrect their culture heroes and restore their traditional way of life o Global Culture  Global culture- a constellation of technologies, practices, attitudes, values, and symbols that spread internationally and enmesh nations and communities throughout the world in networks of power and influence o Ex. Todays economic and political process spread influence through consumerism, the mass media, and information technologies  Complex cultural consequences: o Homogenization- homogenized world culture dominated by similar values and practices  Ex. Multinational companies stimulate consumer buying around the world  Ex. Internationalization of elite classes and interests o Polarization  Reaction to homogenization  Antagonism against influence of euro- American culture  Assert their own national and cultural ideas  Ex. islamic o Hybridization-development of better variety and vitality from cross-cultural combinations  world wide exchange of products, technologies, information, and artistic expression  fostered by travel, migration, and intermarriage, also exposure to media, music, and film  Characterized by consumer spending and fueled by advertising by multinational coorporations, spreading to all parts of the world  Globalization unified different people in global economy and lead to loss in cultural and linguistic diversity 


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