chapter 3 - Culture 317KB Nov 22 2010 04:30:10 PM

Sociology 12
Chapter 3 - Culture
What is Culture!
• “ Culture is the knowledge, language, values,
customs, and material objects that that are
passed from person to person and from one
generation to the next in a human group or
society. (text)
• Culture has been referred to as our “tool kit” for
• Why is culture so important in the study of
• The impact of diversity in our world today.
Material & Non-Material
• Material Culture- are physical and visible items
that member make, use, and share.
(e.g. food, clothing)
• Non-Material Culture- are those items that
abstract but influence people’s behavior (e.g.
language, beliefs, values rules of behavior, family
patterns, and political systems)
• What is Cultural lag
• Cultural Universals pg. 71
What are Cultural
• Symbols pg. 72
• Language pg. 73-78
• Values pg. 78-79
• Norms pg.79-80
• “ is anything that meaningfully represents
something else” (text 72)
• So what are some examples
• think of a symbol in our society and
describe it’s meaning. Could this symbol
be interpreted differently by another group!
How so?
B) Language
“ is a set of symbols that express ideas and
enable people to think and communicate
with one another; it may be either verbal
(spoken) or nonverbal (written or
gestured).” (text)
B) Language
1) Language is solely a human
characteristic- other animals use sound,
gestures, touch, and smell to
communicate… but cannot encompass
past or future situations.
2) Only humans can use symbols to express
abstract concepts and rules which in turn
can be passed from person to person and
generation to generation.
B) Language
3)Language and Social Reality
a. Sapir-Whorf hypothesis states that
language shapes reality (text 74)
b. Most Sociologist contend that language
influences, not determines, behavior and
social reality.
B) Language
4) Language and Gender
a. English language use masculine gender
to refer to humans… pronouns show
gender in particular occupations
(mankind, chairman, fireman etc.)
b. Words have positive meaning for males
related to power, prestige, leadership, …
females are looked at as sexual objects,
weak and inferior.
B) Language
5) Language, race, and ethnicity
a. Language may create and reinforce
perceptions on about race and ethnicity,
transmitting ideas of superiority or
negativity towards another group (calling a
black person sunshine, or white as snow)
B) Language
6)Language Diversity in Canada
a. One of our greatest challenges in Canadian
history has been about language, French/
English as an issue of bilingualism and the
after thought multiculturalism
b. The struggle of First Nations people to keep
their language in an ongoing battle- it is oral not
a written, thus it is most endangered in the
C) Values
“ are collective ideas about what is right or
wrong, good or bad, desirable or
undesirable in a particular culture- they
provide the criteria for evaluating people,
objects and events.” (text)
C) Values
A study of Canadian core values were identified as:
-Equality and fairness
-Consultation & dialogue- Canadians settle their
differences in peaceful consultative manner.
-Accommodation & tolerance
-Supportive of diversity
-Compassion and generosity
-Canada’s natural beauty
-Canada’s world image: Commitment to freedom,
peace, and nonviolent change.
C) Values
-Value Contradictions- are values that conflict with
one another (e.g. morality and humanitarianism
my conflict with values of individual achievement
and success)
-Ideal culture- refers to the valves and standards of
behaviors that people in a society profess to
-Real culture- refers to the values and standards of
behaviors that people actually follow
C) Values
In your assigned group you are to review the
listed “Canadian values” I want you to cite
examples of these in play and is there any
truth in the “Value of Contradiction” as to
real and ideal culture.
D) Norms
• “ established rules of behaviour or
standards of conduct- may be formal or
informal, consisting of folkways,mores,laws
all depending on their relative social
importance.” (text)
D) Norms
1)Folkways are informal norms or everyday
customs that may be violated without serious
consequences within a particular culture (e.g.
using underarm deodorant)
2)Mores are strongly held norms with moral and
ethical connotations that may not be violated
without serious consequences by a culture. The
strongest mores are called “taboos” because
these offences are considered extreme and
unmentionable. (e.g. incest)
D) Norms
3) Law- are formal standardized norms that
have been enacted by legislatures and are
enforced by formal sanctions. Laws may
be “civil” (disputes between individuals and
groups) or “criminal” (dealing with the
public safety and well-being).
Cultural Change
• Cultural change is continual in societies, and
these are often set in motion by discovery,
invention, and diffusion.
• I ask you to define the following terms:
Discovery, Invention, Diffusion, Subculture,
Counter-culture, Cultural Shock, Ethnocentrism,
Cultural relativism, cite explains where possible.
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