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SOCIOLOGY Richard T. Schaefer

SOCIOLOGY Richard T. Schaefer

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SOCIOLOGY Richard T. Schaefer

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  1. SOCIOLOGYRichard T. Schaefer 3 Culture

  2. 3. Culture • Culture and Society • Development of Culture Around the World • Elements of Culture • Culture and the Dominant Ideology • Cultural Variation • Social Policy and Socialization

  3. Culture and Society • Culture: totality of learned, socially transmitted customs, knowledge, material objects, and behavior • Culture includes ideas, values, customs, and artifacts of groups of people

  4. Culture and Society • Society is largest form of human group • Society members learn culture and transmit from generation to generation • Common culture simplifies many day-to-day interactions • Language a critical element of culture that sets humans apart from other species

  5. Development of Culture Around the World • Cultural Universals • Societies develop common practices, including: • Athletic sports • Cooking • Funeral ceremonies • Medicine • Sexual restrictions

  6. Development of Culture Around the World • Innovation • Process of introducing new idea or object to a culture • Discovery: making known or sharing existence of an aspect of reality • Invention: when existing cultural items are combined into a form that did not exist before

  7. Development of Culture Around the World • Globalization, Diffusion, and Technology • Diffusion: process by which a cultural item spreads from group to group or society to society • McDonalization: process through which the principles of the fast-food industry have come to dominate certain sectors of society

  8. Development of Culture Around the World • Globalization, Diffusion, and Technology • Technology: information about how to use the material resources of the environment to satisfy human needs and desires (Nolan and Lenski 2004:37) • Material culture: physical or technological aspects of our daily lives • Food items • Houses • Factories • Raw materials

  9. Development of Culture Around the World • Globalization, Diffusion, and Technology • Nonmaterial Culture: ways of using material objects as well as: • Customs • Customs • Beliefs • Philosophies • Customs • Beliefs • Philosophies • Governments • Customs • Beliefs • Philosophies • Governments • Patterns of communication • Customs • Beliefs • Culture Lag: period of maladjustment when nonmaterial culture is still struggling to adapt to new material conditions

  10. Development of Culture Around the World • Sociobiology • Systematic study of how biology affects human social behavior • Founded on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution • Sociobiologists assert that many cultural traits are rooted in our genetic makeup

  11. Development of Culture Around the World Figure 3-1. Languages of the World Source: J. Allen 2005:330

  12. Elements of Culture • Language • Abstract system of word meanings and symbols for all aspects of culture • Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis • Language precedes thought • Language is not a given • Language is culturally determined • Language may color how we see world

  13. Elements of Culture • Language • Nonverbal Communication • Use of gestures, facial expressions, and other visual images to communicate • Norms • Established standards of behavior maintained by a society To be significant, norms must be widely shared and understood

  14. Elements of Culture • Norms • Types of Norms • Formal norms • Generally written; specify strict punishments • In U.S., often formalized into laws • Informal norms • Generally understood but not precisely recorded • Mores • Norms deemed highly necessary to the welfare of a society • Folkways • Norms governing everyday behavior

  15. Elements of Culture • Norms • Acceptance of Norms • Subject to change as political, economic, and social conditions transform • Sanctions • Penalties and rewards for conduct concerning a social norm

  16. Elements of Culture • Values • Collective conceptions of what is good, desirable, and proper—or bad, undesirable, and improper Influence people’s behavior Criteria for evaluating actions of others Values may change

  17. Elements of Culture Table 3-1. Norms and Sanctions

  18. Elements of Culture Figure 3-2. Life Goals of First-Year College Students in the United States, 1996—2004 Source: UCLA Higher Education Research Institute, as reported in Astin et al. 1994; Sax et al. 2004

  19. Culture and the Dominant Ideology • Dominant Ideology • Describes the set of cultural beliefs and practices that help to maintain powerful social, economic, and political interests

  20. Cultural Variation • Aspects of Cultural Variation • Each culture has unique character • Subculture: Segment of society that shares distinctive pattern of mores, folkways, and values that differs from the larger society Argot: specialized language that distinguishes a subculture from the wider society

  21. Cultural Variation • Aspects of Cultural Variation • Counterculture: subculture that conspicuously and deliberately opposes certain aspects of the larger culture • Hippies • Terrorist cells

  22. Cultural Variation • Aspects of Cultural Variation • Culture shock: Feeling disoriented, uncertain, out of place, or fearful when immersed in an unfamiliar culture

  23. Cultural Variation • Aspects of Cultural Variation • Ethnocentrism: Tendency to assume that one’s own culture and way of life represent the norm or is superior to all others • Cultural relativism: people’s behaviors from the perspective of their own culture

  24. Cultural Variation Table 3-2. Major Theoretical Perspectives on Culture

  25. Social Policy and Socialization • Bilingualism • The Issue • Bilingualism refers to use of two or more languages in a particular setting, such as the workplace or schoolroom • Program of bilingual education may instruct children in their native language while gradually introducing the language of the host society

  26. Social Policy and Socialization • Bilingualism • The Setting • Languages know no political boundaries • Minority languages common in many nations • Schools throughout the world deal with incoming students speaking many languages

  27. Social Policy and Socialization • Bilingualism • Sociological Insights • For a long time, people in the United States demanded conformity to a single language • Challenges to this forced obedience to our dominant ideology

  28. Social Policy and Socialization • Bilingualism • Policy Initiatives • Bilingualism has policy implications in efforts to maintain language purity and programs to enhance bilingual education • Nations vary dramatically in tolerance for a variety of languages

  29. Social Policy and Socialization Figure 3-3. States with Official English Laws Source: U.S. English 2005