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SOCI 1002 w4.docx

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SOCI 1002
Kathleen Moss

SOCI 1002 E Foundations of Sociology Week 4: Culture • Operationalization is like writing a dictionary definition of whatever it is you want to study. • Anything that fits that definition becomes the subject of your research and anything that doesn’t is excluded. • HDI is an index used to rank countries by level of “human development”. • HDI is operationalized as: o Life expectancy at birth, (population health and longevity). o Knowledge and education, (adult literacy rate & school enrollment ratios). o Standard of living, (GDP per capita). Research in Action: Users & Non-users of Facebook (Steven Richardson) • Purpose: tries to understand people’s use and non-use of technology (Facebook). • Research methods: conducting surveys (research methods aren’t mutually exclusive). • Follow-up interviews follow the surveys (more research). Culture • Culture: shared values, beliefs, behaviour and material objects that together form a people’s • way of life. Includes: how we think, act and what we own. • Culture is everything we create with our hands and minds; it is a link to the past and a guide to • the future. • To understand culture, we must consider both thoughts and things. • Nonmaterial culture: ideas created by members of a society (intangible). • Material culture: refers to physical things created by members (tangible). • Culture shapes what we think and how we feel. “Human nature”. • Culture is shared, learned, taken for granted, symbolic and varies across time and place. • People believe their culture is “natural” but travelers usually experience culture shock • (unfamiliar culture). • Ethnocentrism: tendency for people to judge other cultures exclusively by standards of their • own culture. (Danger: discrimination, prejudice, hierarchy of cultures, etc). • Cultural Relativism: belief that all cultures have equal value. (Danger: disappearance of all • standards). Culture and Language • Language: provides the categories through which social reality is understood. • Video: Wade Davis (Canadian born Anthropologist on Endangered Cultures). •
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