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 survival. • Why is culture so important in the study of society. • The impact of diversity in our world today. Material & Non-Material Culture • 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 Components • Symbols pg. 72 • Language pg. 73-78 • Values pg. 78-79 • Norms pg.79-80 A)Symbols • “ 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 world. 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 hold. -Real culture- refers to the values and standards of behaviors that people actually follow C) Values Activity: 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 Types 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.