Culture

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Chapter 3
Culture

What kinds of things come to mind, when
we mention the word “CULTURE?”
Can animals have culture?
Culture

All that human beings learn to do, to use,
to produce, to know, and to believe as
they grow to maturity and live out their
lives in the social groups to which they
belong.
Culture and Biology



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Human beings acquire the means to meet their
needs through culture.
Example:
 Although human infants cry when hungry, the
responses to the cries vary.
 In some groups, infants are breast-fed; in
others, they are fed prepared milk formulas
from bottles; and in still others, they are fed
according to the mother’s preference.
Culture is shared, and
Transmitted from one generation to the next
Culture Shock

The difficulty people have adjusting to a
new culture that differs markedly from
their own.
Ethnocentrism

When one makes judgments about other
cultures based on the customs and values
of one's own.

An Iranian female in a meeting with students at FIU…
Ethnocentrism and what we eat!
Ethnocentrism and what we value!
Cultural Relativism

Recognizing cultures must be understood
on their own terms before valid
comparisons can be made.
Components of Culture




Material culture (objects)
Nonmaterial culture (rules)
Cognitive culture (shared beliefs)
Language
Material Culture



Everything human beings
make and use.
Material culture allows
humans to cope with
extreme environments and
survive in all climates.
Material culture has made
human beings the dominant
life form on earth.
Nonmaterial Culture


Knowledge, beliefs, values, and rules for
appropriate behavior.
Elements of nonmaterial culture:




Norms
Mores
Folkways
Values
Question

Do you favor or oppose an amendment
to the U.S. Constitution that would make
English the official language of the
United States?
A. Favor
B. Oppose
C. No opinion
Norms


The rules of behavior that
are agreed upon and
shared within a culture
and that prescribe limits
of acceptable behavior.
Norms define “normal”
expected behavior and
help people achieve
predictability in their lives.
Mores



Strongly held norms that usually have a
moral connotation and are based on the
central values of the culture.
Violations produce strong negative
reactions, often supported by the law.
Examples: sexual molestation of a child,
rape, murder, incest, and child beating.
Folkways


Norms that permit a wide degree of
individual interpretation as long as certain
limits are not overstepped.
People who violate folkways are seen as
peculiar but they rarely elicit a strong
public response.

The way we dress, the music we listen to, or
the “good manners” can be considered
folkways.
Ideal and Real Norms


Ideal norms - expectations of what
people should do under perfect
conditions.
Real norms - Norms that are expressed
with qualifications and allowances for
differences in individual behavior.
Values

A culture’s general orientations toward
life—its notions of what is good and bad,
what is desirable and undesirable.
Subcultures


Distinctive lifestyles, values, norms, and
beliefs of certain segments of the
population within a society.
Types of subcultures include: ethnic,
occupational, religious, political,
geographic, social class and deviant.
Culture and Individual Choice


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Culture tells humans what to do, how to
do it, and when it should be done.
Humans have more individual freedom of
action than any other creature.
Society and culture limit choices and
make it difficult to act in ways that deviate
from cultural norms.
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