What is Culture?

advertisement
What is Culture?

Culture is the values, beliefs, behavior,
and material objects that together form a
people’s way of life.
Types of Culture





Non-material culture – intangible
human creations
Material culture – tangible creations of a
society
Shapes what we do
Helps form our personalities
Informs our definition of what is
‘normal ‘
Culture Shock


Personal disorientation
when experiencing an
unfamiliar way of life.
It is the inability to
read meanings in a
new surroundings.
Components of Culture





Symbols
Language
Values and Beliefs
Norms
Ideal and Real Culture
What do symbols mean
Components of culture

Symbols:
A symbol is anything that carries a particular meaning
recognized by people who share a culture (a flag, a
word, a flashing red light, a raised fist, an animal etc).
* non-verbal gestures can be very “symbolic” and diverse.
-Diverse meanings can be given to different variations of the
same object, for example, the winking of an eye.
Language









Sick
Dope
Bomb
For Schizzle my Snizzle
Fo sho
Whack
My bad
Dawg or is it Dog, or is it Dogg (Snoop)
Give me 5 more words that carry significance in
teenage vernacular.
Components of culture (contd’)

Language
A system of symbols that allows
people to communicate with one
another.
Function of language:
-Enhances communication (“lets make sure we’re on the same
page”)
-Ensures continuity of culture (story telling)
-Identifies societies or groups (group specific words)
-Determines how a person is perceived by others (proper
grammar vs slang)
Components of culture (contd’)

Values and Beliefs
-VALUES are culturally defined standards by
which people assess desirability, goodness, and
beauty and that serve as broad guidelines for
social living.
BELIEFS are specific statements that people
hold to be true (e.g. The possibility that the US will
one day have a female president - based on the
shared value of equal opportunity)
Beauty – what are our values in
America
“Peek-a-boo”
Are these beautiful people by America’s standards??
Is this beauty?
American Beauty – what do we value as
beauty today
Components of culture (contd’)
- Norms are the agreed-upon expectations and
rules by which a culture guides the behavior of
its members in any given situation.

TYPES

PROSCRIPTIVE


Should nots, prohibited
PRESCRIPTIVE

Shoulds, prescribed like medicine
Types of Norms


Sociologists speak of at least four types of norms: folkways,
mores, taboos, and laws.
Folkways, sometimes known as “conventions” or “customs,” are
standards of behavior that are socially approved but not morally
significant.





For example, belching loudly after eating dinner at someone else's home breaks
an American folkway.
Mores are norms of morality. Breaking mores, like attending
church in the nude, will offend most people of a culture.
Certain behaviors are considered Taboo, meaning a culture
absolutely forbids them, like incest in U.S. culture.
Finally, Laws are a formal body of rules enacted by the state and
backed by the power of the state. Virtually all taboos, like child
abuse, are enacted into law, although not all mores are.
For example, wearing a bikini to church may be offensive, but it
is not against the law.
SOCIAL CONTROL
Various means by which members of society
encourage conformity to norms


GUILT
 A negative judgment we make about ourselves
i.e. “internal compass”
SHAME
 The painful sense that others disapprove of our
actions
i.e. must value their opinion to feel shame
Cultural Diversity

High culture


Popular culture


Cultural patterns that are widespread among society’s
population
Subculture


Cultural patterns that distinguish a society’s elite
Cultural patterns set apart some segment of society’s
population
Counterculture

Cultural patterns that strongly oppose those widely
accepted within a society
High Culture
Museum, art gallery, opera, etc
Pop Culture
The latest trend
Sub Culture
* Rave
* Ecstasy
Counter Culture
CULTURAL CHANGES
-This takes place in 3 ways:

INVENTION 
creating new cultural elements
Telephone or airplane
 DISCOVERY –
recognizing and understanding something
already in existence


X-rays or DNA
DIFFUSION –
the spread of cultural traits from one society
to another

Jazz music or much of the English language
Other Concepts:

Ethnocentrism


The practice of judging another culture
by the standards of one’s own culture
Cultural relativism

The practice of judging a culture by its
own standards
Download
Related flashcards
Goddesses

16 Cards

Social psychology

27 Cards

Goddesses

20 Cards

Family in fiction

30 Cards

Create flashcards