Unit 2 Culture
Culture • Culture is the knowledge, language, values, customs, and material objects that are passed from person to person and from one generation to the next in a human group or society. • General term for all symbolic and learned aspects of human society. • Some believe that certain primates have the capacity for culture
Reflection Does culture determine how we think and act? What is the “tool kit” for survival?
Two Types of Culture Material Culture Non-Material Culture • The physical or tangible creations that members of a society make, use and share. • Look around the room. What judgments can you make about our society simply based on the material culture located here? • Examples of material culture that are important to you? • The abstract or intangible human creations of society that influence people’s behavior. • Language, beliefs, values, rules of behavior, family patterns and political systems. • Beliefs are most important – what are some beliefs our society holds?
Cultural UniversalsDay 2- Intro to Culture\Cultural Universals.doc • Customs and practices that occur across all societies
Ethnocentrism • The practice of judging all other cultures by one’s own culture • Based on the assumption that one’s own way of life is superior to all others • Can be positive or negative
Cultural Relativism • The belief that the behaviors and customs of any culture must be viewed and analyzed by the culture’s own standards • Nacerima reading
Come Up with Your Own… • With a partner, generate a list of the following components of culture • Symbols • Language • Values • Norms • Components of Culture Graphic Organizer -Day 3 - Symbols and Language\Culture_go.docx
Symbols Any act or thing which represents something else.
Instructions: • Each group has been given an envelope containing different symbols. • On a blank piece of paper write down your initial reaction to each symbol as it is removed from the envelop. (this should be done individually and without speaking) • When all symbols have been examined share with your group and create a single consensus of what each symbol represents.
Questions • Were your reactions to the symbols the same or different? • Which symbols produced different responses? • Which symbols produced similar reactions? • What does this tell us about American Society? • Do we have a shared culture or is it relative to your upbringing or maybe region?
Symbols • Anything that carries a particular meaning recognized by people who share culture. • Symbols may represent many things depending on culture or personal interpretation. • Examples: Objects (flag), gestures (peace), sounds (bell system), image (Ban. Republic vs. Wet Seal)
Worn by early aviators as a sign of good luck - 1912 Tomb from Medieval Bosnia Logo of the Indian State of Bahir Holy Symbol in Jainism Native American Basket Ball team - 1909 Iran – 1st Millennium BCE Pavement of Amiens Cathedral
What is meant by Status Symbol? • Can we make assumptions about people by how they are dressed or what type of car they drive? • What do different possessions tell us about one another? • Do our choices reveal our social class? • What possessions signify wealth? Middle Class? Working Class? • Who makes these decisions?
Have you made any purchases to enhance your status? • Are we what we own? • What could be some problems with defining people based on Status Symbols?
Language Defined as a set of symbols and/or sounds that express ideas and enable people to think and communicate.
On a piece of paper create two columns: • label one Men and the other Woman. • List examples of slang for men and women. • On the back of this paper create a list of slang for different racial or ethnic groups • It’s ok if SOME of the examples are offensive – that’s the point! • What can we learn from negative slang? • How powerful is language in your life?
Language • Language and Gender • English can ignore women i.e. huMAN, MANkind. • Can be positive when referring to Men. • Examples? • When related to women, it can be negative or convey weakness, inferiority or immaturity. • Examples? • Language, race and ethnicity • How can language reinforce perceptions about race and ethnicity?
“If a woman is swept off a ship into the water, the cry is `Man overboard!' If she is killed by a hit-and-run driver, the charge is `manslaughter.' If she is injured on the job, the coverage is `workmen's compensation.' But if she arrives at a threshold marked `Men Only,' she knows the admonition is not intended to bar animals or plants or inanimate objects. It is meant for her.” ---Alma Graham Language and Gender
Language • Language is the most important set of symbols and allows for the most cultural transmission. • Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (does language influence or determine our behavior?) • Can show intelligence within a field, racism, and gender bias
Language and Gender • Do “Prince” and “Princess”, “God” and “Goddess”, “King” and “Queen” have the same meaning but simply refer to different sexes? • Are “you’re such a man” and “you’re such a woman” equal compliments? Insults? • Annie Edson Taylor is often described as “the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel”, while Neil Armstrong is ``the first man to walk on the moon.” Does it matter?
C:\Documents and Settings\rnulty\Desktop\Shortcut to Fairy Tale.lnksleeping beauty reading Fairty tale.docx • Create your own politically correct bed time story. • Look at the traditional story through current issues and apply gender/racial neutral terms. • Was this easy? Difficult? Why don’t we do this with more things?
Language • Read the vignette from pgs. 83-84 about language. • Should those who are in the United States speak only English?
Values Collective ideas about what is right or wrong etc…
Values • Values are collective ideas about what is right or wrong, good or bad, and desirable or undesirable in a particular culture. • Usually come in pairs – generous & stingy • What are other examples? • Using the graphic organizer create your own definition of each of the Ten US Core Values. • Read page 86 of your text. • How does your definition of each value differ? • Which Values are most important in the United States? • Are there any value contradictions? • Values and Beliefs pamphlet - ..\Beth Sociology\Unit 2- Culture and Social Interaction\ch 3 values and beliefs.doc
Values • Ideal Culture vs. Real Culture • Ideal Culture refers to the values and standards of behavior that people in a society profess to hold. • Real Culture refers to the values and standards of behavior that people actually follow. • With a partner create a list of examples of Ideal Culture and Real Culture in the United States?
Values • Culturally defined standards of desirability, goodness, and beauty that serve as broad guidelines for social living. • Used to defend our behavior and the behavior of those around us • Brave vs. coward; hard-working vs. lazy
Norms Established rules of behavior and rules of conduct.
Norms • Norms are established rules of behavior or standards of conduct. • Folkways are everyday customs that may be violated without serious consequences within a particular culture. Examples? • Mores are strongly held norms that may not be violated without serious consequences within a particular culture. Examples? • Taboos are mores so strong that their violation is considered to be extremely offensive. Examples?
Norms • Rules and expectations by which a society guides the behavior of its members. • Types of Norms • mores- must follow at risk of ridicule, loss of employment, or even imprisonment • Can change over time (role of women, acceptance of infidelity, etc.) folkways- informal and do not have to follow completely(brush your teeth two times a day)
Norms • Prescriptive Norms • Behavior that is acceptable (shake hands) • Proscriptive Norms • Behavior that is unacceptable (spit in class) • Formal Norms • Laws enforced by positive and negative sanctions • Informal Norms • Enforced through social interaction
Norms • Some norms contradict themselves • Individualism vs. cooperation • Other norms are idealistic and not what we actually live by • Speed limit, cursing, drinking, cheating, lying, etc
Norms • “Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but religiously follows the new.” - Henry David Thoreau • "To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best night and day to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight and never stop fighting.“ - e.e. cummings
Activity • Using your fairy tale, fable, or example of American folk tale create a list of Values, and Norms represented in the story. • Divide the Norms into lessons about Folkways, Mores and Taboos. • Be prepared to share with the class. • Not all stories will include each Norm, the idea is to see how children’s stories are used to transmit culture to future generations.
Mission: Break a Norm! • Social/Verbal • Classroom • Bathroom • Hallway • Elevator • Cafeteria • Office • Park • Home
Culture at South • Does South have a distinct culture? Describe. • cb south culture.docx
Culture at CB South • List some of the different groups of people here at South… • Do you think that they are similar at West & East?
High Culture Low Culture Subculture Counterculture Within one culture there exists cultural diversity
High Culture and Low Culture • High Culture- cultural patterns that distinguish a society’s elite. • Beverly Hills, Weezer • Low Culture- cultural patterns that are widespread among a society’s population. • Examples? • Is one better than the other?
Subculture and Counterculture • Subculture- cultural patterns that set apart some segment of a society’s population. • Amish, Irish, Italians, and Puerto Rican American’s • Counterculture- cultural patterns that strongly oppose those widely accepted within a society. • Examples?
Activity • Fold a blank piece of paper in half. • Label the left side Column A and the right side Column B • As you listen to SONG A write down everything you think and feel. • What is the artist singing about, what is the emotion of the song? • Listen to SONG B and write down everything you think and feel. • What is the artist singing about, what is the emotion of the song? • Which song did you enjoy more?