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 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 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.