Unit 1 notes student copy

Homework: Nacirema article
Social Science:
Government/Political Science :
◦ Disciplines that study human social behavior or institutions
and functions of human society in a scientific matter
 individual
 Biological and cultural development (compare past and present
 past
 production, distribution, and consumption of goods (financial)
Laws. government system functions
theories, purpose
◦ How would History, Anthropology, Psychology, Economics, and
political science study Juvenile Delinquency?
 Sociology?
The study of human society and social
◦ Most interested in SOCIAL INTERACTIONS – how
people relate to one another
What groups are you a part of?
◦ Do you act differently in different groups?
What ideas/characteristics do most of us as a
society share? What varies?
 is there anything that ALL of us have in common?
Page 1 in packet
SP: being able to look beyond commonly held
beliefs to the hidden meanings behind human
◦ Remember: through the lens of a sociologist the view
always remains on the social, or group
◦ Why does a young man join a gang?
 Does not explain by looking at the individual – he is violent
or a delinquent but explains by looking at the group
 Taught by society to be ‘masculine’
 Protection in an unsafe environment
◦ Benefits to having SP?
• Sociological Imagination:
ability to range from the most impersonal and remote
topics to the most intimate features of the human self
and see relations between the two
 - C Wright Mills believes all sociologist and students
must possess this ability
 Ability to see connection between the larger world and
one’s personal life
◦ Look at picture page 5
 How might a sociologist view the interconnection of this
closed factory and homeless person?
How do we learn about our past societies?
Study of past human societies
◦ Finding material culture (example: artifacts and
cultural landscapes)
Prehistoric societies with no written records
for historians to study
◦ Material culture is the only data to analyze
Individually: complete page 2 of packet
◦ Part one: worksheet
◦ Part two: writing response
Industrial Revolution – Europe
◦ Rapid social and political changes
The Urban move
◦ Social changes (e.g., increase in crime)
Culture: shared products of human groups
◦ Material Culture: Physical objects that people
create and use
 Automobiles, books, buildings, clothing etc.
◦ Nonmaterial culture: abstract human creations
 Beliefs, family patterns, ideas, language, political
systems, rules etc.
Not the same thing!
Society – group of interdependent people who
have organized to share a common culture
and unity
◦ Society = people
◦ Culture – material and nonmaterial products that
people create
1. Technology- combination of objects and rules
 - Example – computer (material) plus knowledge of
computer skills & internet
 Acceptable rules of internet
 Screwdriver
2. Symbols (anything that represents something
 Helps create culture and communicate
 Shared meaning attached to it
 Chinese culture: clap hands to express worry or
disappointment, laugh “Ho-Ho to express anger, stick out
tongue to show surprise (1938 research)
 North America: ‘thumbs up” and “A-OK” symbols are insults
to certain other cultures: U.S. President Richard Nixon made
the A-OK sign in Brazil not realizing he was offering a crude
3. Language – organization of written or
spoken symbols into a standardized system
◦ Express ideas
◦ English – United States
4. Values – shared beliefs about what is good
or bad, right or wrong, desirable or
◦ Help determine character of people in group
◦ Determines material and nonmaterial culture
Norms: shared rules of conduct that tell people
how to act in specific situations
◦ Cover your mouth when you cough – do not murder
◦ Can vary – selective norms, demographic
◦ 1. Folkways: norms that describe socially acceptable
behavior but do not have great moral significance
attached to them
 Example:
 Do not chew with your mouth open (Does not endanger wellbeing or stability of society)
-What are the social norms attached to riding
-How quickly would we give up on these
norms if they were challenged?
Elevator norm
2. Mores: (pronounced MORE-ay) great
significance attached to them/Endangers
society’s well being and stability
◦ Example:
 Fraud/Murder
Laws – written rules of conduct enacted and
enforced by the government
◦ punishment for violating mores to protect social
◦ Can also enforce folkways – example?
 Parking Tickets
When we break a folkway we may notice
people’s reactions
*Improv everywhere
mission: to break social norms and watch
people’s reactions
Food Court Musical
Frozen Grand Central
Time loop
Complete page 7-8 in Packet
◦ List 5 (remember – objects) and for each list at least
one rule attached to the objects
◦ Write or draw 5 symbols – explain what each
symbolizes to us
◦ Create one new symbol: What do you think is
important to have a symbol for in our society but
we do not yet have?
◦ List 5 American values
◦ List 5 folkways for Americans
◦ List 5 folkways for high school students
◦ List 5 mores
◦ 3 laws you support
◦ 3 laws you do not support
Taboo : a norm that society holds so strongly
that violating it results in extreme disgust. The
violator is often considered unfit to live in that
◦ Example: In some Muslim cultures, eating pork is taboo
because the pig is considered unclean.
American Taboo?
Universal Taboo?
◦ Pedophilia, bestiality, cannibalism
◦ Incest (among father and daughter)
◦ Cannibalism
◦ Evidence to suggest there are even exception to those
taboo’s and some sociologist claim there are no
Universal Taboos
If you took a trip to Tokyo and meet some friends
who are Japanese and invite you to dinner at their
◦ What would you expect ?
 Bring a small gift
 Take off shoes and put on slippers you are offered
 When offered the place of honor at the table decline a couple of
times before accepting
 Sit on the floor – do not stretch out your legs (considered rude to
point soles of your feet at someone)
 During meal lift bowl to chest close to your mouth – use
 Slurping while eating soup or noodles is acceptable
 Never pour your own drink!
 Do not leave a mess
 When done place chopsticks on your plate and fold napkin neatly.
Cultural Univerals: features common to all
◦ Examples?
◦ George Murdock – examined hundreds of cultures
to determine what they had in common
◦ Found 65 cultural universals: cooking, dancing,
family, feasting, greetings, funeral ceremonies, gift
giving, housing, language, medicine, music,
religion, sports, etc.
Ethnocentrism: viewing one’s own culture and
group as superior
◦ Often people have negative reactions to cultural
traits different than their own
Cultural Relativism: Belief that cultures
should be judged by their own standards
rather than by applying the standards of
another culture
◦ Open minded – put yourself in their shoes
◦ Helps us understand practices that seem
Read Case Study Page 6
Writing Response 3 – Think About it 1 & 2
Subculture: group with its own unique values,
norms, and behaviors that exists within a larger
◦ Do not reject all values and practices of larger society
◦ Example: Age, gender, ethnic, religious, political,
social-class, occupations (teachers, police)
Counterculture: rejects major values, norms, and
practices of larger society and replaces them with
a new set of cultural patterns
◦ challenge the values of the larger society
◦ Anarchists, organized crime, hippies
Argot: a specialized vocabulary peculiar to a
particular class or group of people
Counterculture: rejects major values, norms,
and practices of larger society and replaces
them with a new set of cultural patterns
◦ challenge the values of the larger society
◦ Anarchists, organized crime, hippies
Argot: a specialized vocabulary peculiar to a
particular class or group of people
The Arapesh and the Mundugumor
◦ Page 32 Read about the two societies
◦ Writing Response:
1. T-chart:
compare the two societies
Characteristics of society
What things are important to them
2. What factors account for the differences
among these two societies? In other words
why aren’t we all the same?
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