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Chapter 2

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Chapter 2

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  1. Chapter 2 Culture What does “culture” encompass?

  2. Culture = A way of life including…. • Knowledge, language, values, norms, customs, and material objects for a society • All of culture is symbolic {symbol = anything that represents something else, such as…… } Does culture vary ACROSS societies? How so? Does culture vary WITHIN societies? How so?

  3. Language: A key component of culture • Language = A system of symbols used for communication (spoken, written, gestures, etc.) • Kendall addresses language use and gender; language use and race or ethnicity, & language and age. We are going to add language and ability/disability….

  4. Language and Gender • Gender = societal expectations based on a person’s sex. • The English language historically ignores women. Examples?? • Pronoun-usage reinforces gender expectations. Examples?? (Hint: When you think of higher-prestige occupations…..;when you think of lower-prestige occupations…..).

  5. Language and Gender… • The U. S. has a greater # of derogatory terms for females than for males (and these terms typify women as sex objects!) Consider examples… • Consider what “feminine” means. Consider what “masculine” means. Which is considered a greater insult – “tomboy” or “sissy?” WHY?

  6. Language, Race, & Ethnicity “Language may [also] create and reinforce our perceptions about race and ethnicity” (Kendall, 2005, p. 52). Phrase: Meaning: a “black mark” “Chinaman’s chance of success”

  7. Language and Mental or Physical Condition Many of our terms historically used to describe an individual with a condition that may affect a person’s living OVEREMPHASIZE the disability and UNDEREMPHASIZE the person’s ability. We ALL have our limitations! As Howard Gardner asserts, there are different dimensions of intelligence/ability. Consider “emotional intelligence” (Daniel Goleman). What does this mean? What about “social intelligence?” What about cognitive/logical intelligence? Does IQ really capture a person’s varying facets of intelligence?? What about “EQ?” Note how we often CARELESSLY use terms as an insult to self or others, e.g., “crippled,” “crazy,” or “retarded?” Consider how a person who has been given such a label by the medical community would perceive her/himself if society gives that terms a negative connotation.

  8. Language and Mental or Physical Condition… • If we consider emphasizing the PERSON FIRST, and then include the condition (if it is even necessary), consider dyslexia…. • Consider other examples of conditions and emphasizing the PERSON FIRST. • What is ableism?? • Recall:We ALL have our limitations! How do you rate on “EQ?”

  9. Language and Age • What do we mean by “ageism?” • Consider the connotation of “old maid.” • What are other examples of ageist terminology?

  10. Language Use:A Summary Note how certain USE of verbs minimize individuals’ and groups’ achievements OR inaccurately describe events altogether: “In 1964, people of minority status ‘were given’ the right to vote.” “Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ America.” Other “isms” and language: What is “heterosexism?” What about “sizism?” How does language perpetuate these?

  11. Theoretical Perspectives of Language 1.) Claim that traditional language is essential to a common culture. It is a stabilizing force. It is a means by which we transmit culture from one generation to the next. Thusly, language helps give people a heritage and social identity or a “place” (status) in society.

  12. Theoretical Perspectives of Language… 2.) Claim that traditional language is a mechanism of social control between those with power and those without power. It is used to “keep people in their place” or from obtaining greater power (and wealth). Note: the feminist view overlaps with interactionist views below….via traditional socialization). 3.) Claim that language helps shape our views of reality in various social situations. Language can affect people’s view of themselves.

  13. Theoretical Perspectives of Language 4) Recognize that language shapes our view of reality (overlaps with interactionist views), and also recognizes that technology powerfully shapes our language. What are some examples of cybersymbols? 

  14. Cultural Concepts (Components of Culture) • Values = collective ideas about what is good or desirable [See “Core American Values” in text]. • Norms = socially-established rules of behavior 3 kinds of norms: __________= informal norms or everyday customs that may be violated w/out serious consequence. __________=norms w/ moral significance which have serious consequences upon violation. Examples: Taboos. __________=formal norms whose violation has specific legal punishments.

  15. Technology, Cultural Change, & Diversity • Technology = knowledge, techniques and tools that allow people to transform resources into usable forms and the skills to use these forms. Examples? • What do we mean by “cultural lag?” (William Ogburn, 1964). Which currently debated topics exemplify this idea?

  16. Technology, Cultural Change, & Diversity… • What is a “Subculture?” Examples? • What about “Counterculture?” Examples?

  17. Additional Cultural Concepts… SEE TEXT for THESE: • What is “ethnocentrism”? • What are examples of “high culture?” • What does “popular culture” mean?