what is culture? - Sociology at Girton

Unit 3 Sociology: Culture and Ethnicity
You Tube and Culture…
 Video ' What is Culture?’
 Video 2 'What is Culture?'
What is culture?
 Culture refers to an ‘integrated pattern of
human knowledge, belief, and behaviour
that depends upon the capacity for symbolic
thought and social learning.’
Or in other words…
 Culture is our knowledge, beliefs and
behaviours. Eg. your knowledge of what things
are called, your beliefs about wrong and right
and behaviours such as affection.
Culture is learned from others. Eg. your
parents teach you manners and etiquette.
Culture is passed from generation to
generation. Eg. your parents learned how
to teach you from your grandparents.
Why study culture?
 No human society can exist and develop
without culture.
Because Sociology is the study of human
beings in groups, we are interested in the
culture of those groups.
For example; Australian culture as a whole and
the various ‘cultures’ within it such as Asian- or
Sudanese-Australian or subcultures such as
‘cyber goths’, or with reference to the arts,
popular and high culture
Material & Non-material Culture
‘Material’ Culture
Refers to things that physically express culture.
Eg. Clothing, food, architecture, language,
gestures, rituals, celebrations, arts, TV
In Australia it might be Western clothing and diet,
English, shaking hands etc, Christmas and Easter,
Aboriginal Art, Neighbours
‘Non-material’ Culture
Refers to aspects of culture that we cannot ‘see’ – that
inform the physical.
Eg. Beliefs, customs, values, social ‘norms’…
In Australia it might be Christian beliefs, customs such as
not eating meat on Good Friday, values such as
‘mateship’ and egalitarianism and norms such as wearing
acceptable clothing to cover ourselves
Which of these images
represent Australian culture?
Is this Australian Culture?
 Video promoting Australia as a holiday
destination in the UK
The Cultural Paradigm
Draw this diagram
and then think of
examples of broader
Australian culture to
go with each ‘petal’.
For example, stories
and symbols might
include the Australian
flag and Dreamtime
Culture Clash
When one or more cultures are integrated
into one environment, causing disruption and
challenging contemporary traditions. Often
occurs in multicultural societies.
Reaction of
Islamic women
to a Western
woman in
what they
would consider
What other culture
clashes might occur
or have occurred in
Name 5 examples, either past or present.
More culture clash…
 Wikipedia
 Urban Dictionary
 Sociology Wire (Blog)
 Hilarious Pictures
 Bradley Farless (Blog)
 Inkcinct
 You Tube
 Google Images