Cultural, Economic and Political Prepared by R Kisasembe CAWM
Cultural system • Culture- is simply defined as a total way of life, including the way people eat, dance, language etc. • Culture- Is the customary ways in which humans live. For example; diet, family forms and processes, social organizations, and religions. • Cultural-Are those qualities and attributes that seem to be characteristic of all humankind.
Culture refers to the beliefs, values, behavior and material objects that, together, form a people's way of life. • Culture determines how we view the world around us • Culture includes the traditions we inherit and pass on to the next generation • Culture: totality of our shared language, knowledge, material objects, and behavior
Culture refers to everything that people have, think, and do as members of a society. • Every thing people have refers to material possessions; everything that people think refers to those things they carry around their head such as ideas, values, and attitudes; and everything that people do refers to behavior pattern.
Thus, all culture comprises of: (a) Material objects, (b) Ideas, values and attitudes, and (c) Pattern ways of behaving • Culture exist for human survival
It distinguishes one group of people from another. • A group that shares similar customs and beliefs. • Culture affects everything a groups does, what they believe, how they behave, and how they organize their society.
Culture and Society • Society is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. • A group of people who have learned to live and work together.
Members of a society may be from different ethnic groups. A society may be a particular ethnic group, such as the Nyamwezi; a nation state such as Tanzania; a broader cultural group, such as a western society. • The patterns of human society differ from place to place and era to era and across cultures, making the social world a very complex and dynamic environment.
Human Culture • Only humans depend on culture rather than instincts to ensure the survival of their kind. • Culture is very recent and was a long time in the making. • What sets primates apart from other animals is their intelligence. Human achievements during the Stone Age set humans off on a distinct evolutionary course, making culture their primary survival strategy.
Culture and Society • The concept of culture (a shared way of life) must be distinguished from those of nation (a political entity) or society (the organized interaction of people in a nation or within some other boundary). • Many modern societies are multicultural---their people follow various ways of life that blend and sometimes clash.
CHARECTERISTICS OF CULTURE • Culture is shared; • The members of a culture share a set of "ideals, values, and standards of behavior," and this set of shared ideals is what give meaning to their lives, and what bonds them together as a culture. • Culture is not an innate sensibility, but a learned characteristic
As a member of society culture should be shared phenomena. • For a thing, idea, or behavior pattern to qualify as being culture it must have a shared meaning by at least two people within a society.
2. Culture is learned • culture is not transmitted genetically, rather it is acquired through the process of learning or interacting with one’s environment. • The process whereby culture is passed from one generation to the next is called enculturation. • Children begin learning their cultures the moment they are born. • Parents and extended family teach children what is expected of them in terms of familial duty and contributions to the household. • We acquire culture (values, ideas, behavior pattern) by growing up in it.
When an infant is born, he or she enters a cultural environment which many solutions already exist to the universal problems facing all human population. • The child mealy needs to learn to internalize those solutions in order to make reasonable adjustment to his or her environment. For example a child born in Uk would probably learn to drive a car, watch Tv, on the other hand a child born in Maasai land would learn to play with cows, names of cows rather than TV.
3. Culture is dynamic/ change- is being presented as a body of things, ideas, and behavior pattern transmitted from one generation to another through the process of learning. • The changes may vary from small scale to large scale. • Culture is not static. • It is ever changing, growing, morphing into something new. • Culture is dynamic because people are dynamic. • Since a culture is made up of the people that belong to it, it is constantly reformed by those individuals. From one generation to the next, ideas are transmitted and translated.
The process of change are : • Internal change ( invention) • External change ( cultural diffusion • Examples of phenomenon that may cause cultural change/dyanamic: • Government May attempt to engineer social change by means of • policies, • laws, • Incentives or coercion.. • Other factors: • war, migration, colonial domination, technology or plagues, Natural disasters
4. Culture is based on symbol- • In order for the culture to be transmitted successfully from one person to the next, and from one generation to the next, a system of symbols needs to be created that translates the ideals of the culture to its members. • This is accomplished through language, art, religion, and money.
5. Culture is universal- • Each culture has developed a different set of solutions to the universal human problem facing all societies, example all society need food. • All cultures of the world share a number of common feature (cultural Universals), because they have all worked out solutions to a whole series of problems facing all human society Basic needs include • food • economic system • marriage system • education system • social control system • supernatural beliefs • system of communication
6. Culture is adaptive • Culture represent the major way by which human population adapts or relate to their environment so that they can continue to reproduce and survival. • The same to other living organism adapt their environment by developing physiological features that equip them to maximize their chance of survival example Predator like wolves and canine teeth used for killing animals and ripping the fresh of the animal. • Human on other hand have relied more on cultural rather than biological features for adapting to their environment. • Through the invention and use of such cultural tool as spears, arrows, guns, etc enable human to kill and butcher animals
7. Cultures are integrated • In order to keep the culture functioning all aspects of the culture must be integrate. For example the language must be able to describe all the functions within the culture in order for ideas and ideals to be transmitted from one person to another. • Without the integration of language into the fabric of the culture, confusion and dysfunction would reign and the culture would fail. • This how particular culture traits fits into the whole system. • Human culture is a system that make the whole function together like human skeleton, reproductive system etc
The Four Components of Culture • Cultures varies from one another and it shares four major components, these are the • Communication ( Language) • Cognitive (shared beliefs) • Material (objects) • Behavioral aspects (rules).
1. Communication components • include language and symbols. • Language-a system of communication using vocal sounds, gestures, and written symbols, is probably the most significant component of culture because it allows us to communicate.
Language is so important that many have argued that it shapes not only our communication but our perceptions of how we see things as well. • Through having a language, a group of people interact with one another, socially sharing their thoughts, feelings or ideas to the people with same language. • Language forms the core of all cultures throughout society.
Symbols (Signs) are considered as the backbone of symbolic interactions. • A symbol might be considered as anything that holds a particular meaning and are recognized by the people that shares the same culture.
Gestures are the signs that we make with our body, such as hand gestures and facial expressions; it is important that these gestures also carry meaning. • Different cultures have different symbols, it is cross-culturally and it might be change over a period of time.
Cognitive components • It includes Ideas, Knowledge and Belief, Values and Accounts. • Ideas, Knowledge and Belief are basic units of knowledge construction. • Ideas are considered as mental representation and are used to organize stimulus. When Ideas are link together it will organize into larger systems of information which will become knowledge.
Knowledge now is considered as a storage of information fact or assumption, and these knowledge can be passed down from one generation to another. • Belief on the other hand assumes that a proposition, statement, description of fact are true in nature. • These acceptance were influenced by the external authorities such as government, religion, or science rather than proven true from the individual's direct experiences.
Values serve as guidelines for social living. Culturally, it can be defined as the standards of desirability, goodness and beauty. • Accounts are considered to be a way on how people use the language for their explanation, justification, or to rationalize, excuse, or legitimize a behavior towards themselves or to the others.
Behavioral components. • Is the major component of culture that is concerned about on how we act. It includes norms which further categorizes into Mores, Laws, Folkway, and Rituals. • Norms are considered as rules and expectations eventually set by a particular society that serve as guides to the behavior of its members
It varies in the terms of the degrees of importance and might be change over a period of time. • It is reinforced by sanctions in the forms or rewards and punishments. • These are standards accepted by society culturally and serves as obligatory and expected behavior's of the people in different situations in life.
More (more-ray) is a norm that carries greater moral significance, is closely related to the core values of a group, and often involves severe repercussions for violators. • Laws serve as the formal and important norms that translated into legal formalizations. • Folkways are considered as behavioral patterns of a particular society that is repetitive and organize.
A taboo is a norm engrained so deeply that even thinking about violating it evokes strong feelings of disgust, horror, or revulsion for most people. • Rituals on the other hand are those highly scripted ceremonies of interactions which follows a sequence of actions. • Examples are baptism, holidays and more.
Sanctions are positive or negative reactions to the ways that people follow or disobey norms, including rewards for conformity and punishments for norm violators. • Sanctions help to establish social control, the formal and informal mechanisms used to increase conformity to values and norms and thus increase social cohesion.
Material Culture • Everything human beings make and use. • Material culture allows humans to cope with extreme environments and survive in all climates. • Material culture has made human beings the dominant life form on earth.
Material culture includes the objects associated with a cultural group, such as tools, machines, utensils, buildings, and artwork etc.
Ways of looking at Cultures • Ethnocentrism Is the belief that one’s own group or culture is superior to all other groups or cultures. • The tendency of most people to use their own way of life as a standard for judging others; now also indicates the belief, on the part of most individuals, that their race, culture, society, etc., are superior to all others
Cultural relativism-Is the notion that other culture can be evaluated and understood only in accordance with their own standards rather than from the cultural perspective of the observer • When studying any group, it is important to try to employ cultural relativism because it helps sociologists see others more objectively.
Variations in Culture • Although much research focuses on the differences between cultures, there is also tremendous variation within a culture. • Multiculturalismvalues diverse racial, ethnic, national, and linguistic backgrounds and so encourages the retention of cultural differences within society, rather than assimilation.
Variations in Culture (cont’d) • The dominant culture refers to the values, norms, and practices of the group within society that is most powerful in terms of wealth, prestige, status, and influence. • A subculture is a group within society that is differentiated by its distinctive values, norms, and lifestyle.
Variations in Culture (cont’d) • A counterculture is a group within society that openly rejects and/or actively opposes society’s values and norms. Introduction to Sociology: Culture
Cultural Resources • Meaning of a resource • A resource is defined as anything that man can use to meet his/her wants. It is a common understanding that it is a man who defines a resource, not nature. • Human beings are continually surveying the physical environment and assessing the value of particular organic and inorganic elements within it.
Before anything is named as a resource two things must be met; • Knowledge and technical skills must exist to allow its extraction and utilization. • Must be a demand for the materials or services produced
Cultural resources • Are material and non-material items that represent contemporary, historic, and pre-historic human. • Material culture: what a group of people make • Material items include natural or manufactured objects that have meaning to people in contemporary communities such as species, landscape and artifacts left behind by past communities.
Artifacts, a similar term, are physical remains of humans including any materials manufactured or modified by people e.g tools, buildings etc. • Nonmaterial culture: beliefs, practices, aesthetics and values of a group of people
Example of cultural resources • Archaeological sites. • Historic sites, buildings, and structures. • Traditional cultural properties, which include such resources as traditional resource gathering areas, sacred sites. • Historic landscapes and view sheds. • Museum collections and historical documents • Community values such as language, food, beverage, cloth etc.
EXAMPLES of RESOURCES AT THE SITE 1. Prehistoric • human remains; burial sites; lithic and ceramic scatters; milling and quarry sites; refuse or debris piles; shell middens; rock shelters; temporary camp sites; house, village, and ceremonial sites; sacred places
2.Historic • buildings (house, barn, business, church); settlements; sites of important events (e.g., battlegrounds); passageways (trails, roads, railroads, tunnels); landscaping; refuse piles; cemeteries 3.Contemporary • location of important events; resource collection locations; religious or spiritual sites; sacred places; sites with valued vistas; recreation sites; cemeteries
African cultures • Religious Group Share a common belief system, but are not necessarily composed of a single ethnic group. • Religious Groups in Africa • Three Major Religions: Traditional Beliefs Christianity and Islam • Traditional Beliefs may include worship of ancestors, spirits, gods, animals, land, inanimate objects, and/or natural phenomena.
Besides praying to God and the deity, there is a common theme of sacrifice in African religions. • Sacrifice is about giving something up that is very precious for any number of reasons including continuing good fortune and avoidance of disaster. • Ethnic Group Each ethnic group has its own distinct language, traditions, arts and crafts, history, way of life and religion