Human Diversity SWK 225
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This 61 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sheldon Goyette on Thursday October 15, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SWK 225 at Murray State University taught by Pittman-Munke in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see /class/223592/swk-225-murray-state-university in Social Work at Murray State University.
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Date Created: 10/15/15
Important Class Concepts Culture Social Class and Social Identity Development Culture ltgt Culture social scientists define culture as all the values norms knowledge behavior patterns and artifacts that are transmitted from one generation to the next and form a way of life of a people 0 Culture gt Culture continued Society is held together by culture The objects of culture are put to use in society Society and culture are interdependent Culture exists because people are able to share their creations and pass knowledge from one generation to another Material Culture 9 Material culture the physical objects we produce and pass down are our material culture Examples are hospitals social service agencies retirement villages and personal computers NonMaterial Culture 9 Nonmaterial culture more abstract creations such as ideas rules and patterns of communication Two very important examples of nonmaterial culture are norms and values Norms 9 Norms the shared expectations and rules both spoken and understood that guide human behavior in life situations Most of our actions are influenced by norms Norms Norms may be internalized to such an extent that we obey them without even being aware that we are doing so 0 One of the goals of this course is to help make us aware of internalized norms Norms are effective in motivating behavior and are enforced by rewards and punishments known as sanctions 0 Folkways ltgt Folkways are those norms violated most often and are likely to involve the least intense feelings These are the conventional rules of everyday life we follow almost automatically Examples are styles of dress manners speech and phrasing Mares 9 Mores are the strongest norms and comprise the basic moral judgments of a society Mores are standards of behavior that arouse intense feelings Laws t Certain folkways or mores merit formalization as laws eBA law is a norm that has been written by a political authority and includes designated punishments if the law is violated which officials have the power to enforce Important Ideas to Ponder ltgt It is important to understand that norms do not apply equally to every individual or group Think about this when we discuss oppression 4 It is also important to remember that norms are not static they are fluid shifting guidelines for thinking and behavior Values 9 Values abstract and general notions about the qualities that members of a society consider good right and desirable All norms originate in some value or values 0 Culture 3 All aspects of nonmaterial culture are passed from one generation to the next primarily through written and oral exchange Human language and human culture in the broad sense of both terms are closely linked Culture and Language 3 Language is the means by which a society makes use of transmits and changes elements of its culture 4 Culture makes language meaningful enabling society to survive Culture and Language Continued lt The relationship between language and culture is adaptive because it functions to protect or ensure the survival of that society the particular form of culture Culture is the means humans have devised to adapt to the natural environment 3 A culture can be understood fully only in the context of its natural environment How and Why Cultures Change 3 Culture is a means of meeting the environment s challenges tThe balance of external forces is always shifting so change occurs constantly although not evenly in a culture Cultural Change Factors 9 Cultural change is the product of many factors The most important factors are Cultural borrowing cultural diffusion Discovery Invention Historical events Cultural Change Factors Di usion gt Diffusion cultural borrowing is the spread of material and nonmaterial culture from one society to another and occurs largely through trade Diffusion probably accounts for the largest proportion of cultural change Cultural Change Factors Discovery and Invention 3 Discovery and invention both derive from our capacity for selfperception t Discovery is the sudden recognition that something already in existence can serve our purposes Cultural Change Factors History ltgt History is an important facet of of the environmental context in which cultural change occurs Culture is the product of history while people are the actors or agents of history which records our deliberate acts Cultural Change 9 Culture is conservative that is resistant to change 9Changes in beliefs and values often follow changes in custom and practice Give some examples of this Cultural and Material Determinism ltgt Material determinism the idea that a culture s material elements determine its values and beliefs which in turn serve to maintain and perpetuate the material culture Marx used this theory as a rationale for exploitative capitalism Cultural Universals 3 Every culture has a number of elements known as cultural universals These are the ways in which different cultures meet the demands of their environments by overcoming common problems which have to do with our survival as a species Cultural Universals ltgt Some of these cultural universals that ensure our survival as a species every society has devised ways of acquiring distributing and preparing food treating the sick assigning names ensuring security relieving tension raising children celebrating courtship and marriage and burying the dead Ethnocentrism 9 Ethnocentrism develops to reinforce social stability and promote loyalty and group solidarity Blocks intergroup cooperation and understanding Cultural Relativism 1 Cultural relativism is the recognition that each culture is unique to its context and the norms and values of no one culture can be used as standards for judging any other Social behavior can be understood only when viewed in its total cultural framework according to cultural relativists Cultural Relativism ltgt Social behavior can be judged only by the standards of right and wrong in the particular society Cultural relativism can be a valuable tool to help us develop an accurate perception of ways of life different from our own Integration ltgtIntegration also known as cultural integration 4 When social scientists say a culture is integrated they mean that its values norms beliefs and practices somehow mesh and fit within an overall operating scheme that is essential to the culture s survival Integration BA major challenge to integration and a primary source of cultural strain is the disparity between the norms and values people espouse and how they actually behave Ethnocentrism 3 Ethnocentrism can lead us to believe our own culture is superior to all others Ethnocentrism The groups we will study are examples of how ethnocentrism of the dominant culture set these populations apart marginalized Blocked these populations from full participation in the benefits and resources of society Oppressed groups whose cultural arrangements unlike the cultural arrangements of the dominant culture Subculture Complex societies are composed of many different groups not everyone in a society shares every element of the larger culture 4 This culture within a culture is called a subculture f A subculture contains different values beliefs and norms than the larger culture Social Class ltgtInteraction based on differential power can be characterized by dominance subordination or inequality and can be affected by a variety of statuses and roles assigned by society 3 One social arrangement based on dominancesubordination is social class 0 Class 93 Class as we will use it in this course relates to relative wealth and access to power C lassism it Classism is a process whereby the wealthy are privileged and assigned high status while the poor and the working class and their cultures are stigmatized and disadvantaged simply because of relative wealth 3 The economic elite benefit from classist values and those on the bottom suffer obstacles C lassism 3 Because classism is less visible than racism and sexism we make many wrong assumptions Social Strati cation ltgt Sociologists use social class as descriptive and analytic tools 3Class is commonly used to describe social stratification a hierarchy of of prestige rankings where individuals in society are located on a ladder according to Social Strati cation continued The amount of money they earn The level of education they have completed The prestige of their occupation or The prestige conferred on them by others in the community Social Strati cation continued ltThe ladder of social stratification is divided into classes Upper upper Lower upper Upper middle Lower middle Lower lower Social Class ltgt Used as an analytic tool social classes are defined as a structure of association or social roles in the economy and in the workplace 4 The capitalist economy is divided into a number of roles each with a set of responsibilities privileges duties and obligations Social Class lt Class as a analytic tool is a position a person occupies within a hierarchy lt The essential element is domination and subordination gt Social class is more than a description of prestige rankings 3 It is a tool over analyzing role or class conflict Power 3 Power Power is a key concept for this class Power lt Power is a core component of social class 9 Power exists on various levels Individual Interpersonal Institutional Societal Power ltgt Power is The capacity to produce desired effects of others Perceived mastery over self and others The capacity to influence the forces that affect one s life The access to social and economic resources which is correlated with social class Power Think of power in relation to clients Think of power in relation to marginalized groups Myths Related to Social Class 3 Myth 1 we are fundamentally a classless society t Myth 2 we are a middle class nation 43 Myth 3 we are all getting richer Myth 4 everyone has an equal chance to succeed 0 Myth 4 lt Myth 4 everyone has an equal chance to succeed fails to recognize the enormous differences between the rich and the poor in relation to material wellbeing health mental health infant mortality disease exposure housing diet education disabilities and life expectancy 9 In short social class standing has a significant impact on our changes for survival Downward Mobility t Downward Mobility p 29 the level of inequality is increasing and downward social mobility is becoming a reality The younger generation has less than their parents generation at the end of their working life Education and Social Class ltgt Education is a major component of social class standing 393 Grades and test scores are typically used as indicators of school performance as is the level of grade completion the indicator of educational attainment both are correlated strongly with social class Hidden Injuries of Class 3 Cultural exclusion Disdainful treatment in hospitals Surveillance by welfare agencies Media hostility Blocked promotional structures Without educational credentials working class people are dependent on a weakening labor market Class and Choice 3 People do not choose to be poor or working class Instead they are limited and confined by the opportunities afforded or denied them by a social system Social Identity Development 3 Social identity theory explains the psychological processes of the individual with explicit reference to the broader social context 4 Focuses on the social or group based identity and how these interact with the social structure Social Identity ltgt Social identity refers to aspects of oneself which form the basis of shared group membership BSeIfcategorization is not merely an act of selflabeling but an adoption over time of the normative behaviors characteristics and values associated with the particular group membership Social Identity 9 Everyone has multiple social identities White heterosexual make has multiple dominant status Those with multiple minority identities have multiple subordinate status difficult to develop self esteem Social Identity 3 Social identities may be in conflict with one another for example nun lesbian Personal identity t People have a personal identity in addition to social identity 5 Personal identity refers to those aspects behaviors traits and values individuals see as characterizing themselves as distinct from other individuals Social Comparison 9 Selfconcept consists of two aspects social identity based on memberships in social groups and derived through a process of social selfcategorization Personal identity based on unique aspects of oneself Identity and SelfEsteem ltSelfesteem is determined primarily through social comparison in an evaluative process Social selfesteem is derived by comparing the social groups one belongs to with other groups Personal selfesteem is derived from comparison of the self with other individuals Social Attributes and Social Identity 9 The social attributes embodied in our social identity are extremely important because they carry different levels of power prestige and status Dominance and Subordinance a Dominant groups are able to control the status quo 3 Members of dominant groups try to maintain the status quo because it is favorable to them if Subordinate groups try to alter the status quo in some way to get a more favorable outcome for themselves lt9 Social identity theory is about groups in conflict Social Categories ltgt Social categories particularly ones based on race sex or sexual orientation usually do not develop from experience alone 4 Many categories important to society are defined by society in general the content of these categories are learned as stereotypes
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