Homo sapiens can procreate with any other Homo sapiens around the world. Other animals are
bound by the constraints of extinctions
Horace Miner (Anthropologist)
Asked the following question to a women on Fiji: "You've gained weight"
What happened to change the meaning of stating the above to a woman?
What do the contents of your bathroom or personal "shrine" symbolize?
What is Culture?
A culture is like a blueprint for behaviour
Culture is a way of life shared by a group of people which includes a system of ideas, values.
Beliefs, knowledge and customs transmitted from one generation to the next
A SOCIETY consists of PEOPLE. Their CULTURE is what they HAVE and what they DO and how
they THINK TOGETHER
The material and nonmaterial objects that define a peoples way of life
What you see is so little, yet there is more to uncover
Underneath the iceberg is what culture is about and can not be seen physically
Above: See ,Hear, Touch, Taste, Smells [Material Culture]
Below: Beliefs, Thought Patterns, Values, Myths [Non-material culture]
Kinds of Culture
Ex: iPad, Graffiti, Prius - tangible products of a national community or society
What makes you a stranger when you are away from home?
All the intangible products of a society
Example: Patterns of communication [how to address someone]
Types of Government [Democracy] Philosophies [Ethics about capital punishment]
How you use material objects
The Word: Gay
Original meaning from 1310: joyful, carefree, bright, optimistic
Meant seeking divorce
Gay Women=Prostitute Gay Man= Womanizer Gay House=Brothel
1970's uninhibited by morals
The Components of Non-Material Culture
1. Symbols - Anything that can carry a meaning
often taken for granted
can bind people together/separate them
allow people to make sense of their lives
2. Gestures - using ones body to communicate
personal space - North Americans/Europeans prefer to stand a meter away,
Southern European and Asian countries are comfortable closer
eye movements - Many people avoid making eye contact. However, an evasive or
indirect gaze sends out a strong signal of untrustworthiness
Appearance - The first seconds of meeting someone for the first time are more
important than the next hour.
Hands - your hands are like signaling flags. They send a message no matter whatever
position they are in.
3. Language - the whole body of words and ways of combining words used by a nation or
people or a system of symbols that allows members of a society or nation to
communicate with one another
Allows cultural transmission, passing on of culture from one generation to the next
Allows human experience to be cumulative that is the capacity to build on past
Provides for a shared social past, present and future
Makes possible complex, shared and goal oriented or rational behaviour
Question: How does a baby learn the word "momma"?