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Lecture 6

Sociology Lecture 6 & 7.docx

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Sandra Colavecchia

Sociology Lecture 6 September 28 2012 CULTURE Defining Culture  "Culture is the sum of ideas, practices, and material objects that people create to adapt to, and throve in, their environments." (Brym, 2011, p.28)  Examples: Gretzky Cultural Universals  ie. bodily adornment, sports, gift giving, social institutions (family) Cultural Surprises  have you ever been surprised by the practices or beliefs of a different culture---either when travelling to a different country/region, or in talking to someone from another country?  ex. Gelato: in Italy, parents would take their children to go get gelato at around midnight Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism  Ethnocentrism: one's own practices/beliefs are superior  Cultural Relativism: all cultural practices have equal value  Gelato example Ideal vs. Real Culture  a gap exists between what we say and what we do (ideology and action)  ex. environmentalism, consumption of alcohol Contemporary Culture  Globalization (countries being connected more)  Postmodernism  Consumerism Globalization  Political interconnectedness (ie. UN)  Economic interconnectedness (ie. EU, Free Trade)  travel and migration  communication  work/occupations  Ritzer: the McDonaldization of society; → efficiency: getting food quickly → calculability: quantity> quality → predictability: same food and service → control: client is controlled (convince client to do labour); worker is controlled (how they're dressed, how they make the food, etc)  Diaspora: a group of people who move to another country who maintain and share their ethnic identity Sociology lecture 7 October 3 2012 Postmodernism (1980's/1990's)  reflects broad range of projects  knowledge and "truth" is fluid and shaped and reshaped through discourse (i.e. medical, political, academic discourse) (discourse means written/spoken communication or debate)  "truth" reflects power relations  rejection of a single explanatory frameworks  mix of elements from different times/places  ex. music, architecture, religion  Postmodernism in Music → breaks music "rules" of past → mixing of different styles → music connected to culture, politics and society → role of technology → explores contradictions → fragmentation and discontinuity → locates meaning in listeners  Postmodernism in Architecture → diversity, eclecticism, experimentation → collision of styles → borrowing from the past and reinterpreting it → many different meanings and interpretations  Postmodernism in Religion → Bibby: "religion a la carte" → he states that many Canadians are becoming more spiritual by mixing various times and places of different religions  less consensus about core values (i.e. voting; back then, people would tend to vote for the same political party / today, people tend to change who they vote for according to what the issues are) Consumerism  defining ourselves by what we buy  Counter-cultures: specific type of sub culture who reject the dominant values of society  Commercialization of Childhood → unprecedented, sophisticated, powerful → use of researchers, psychologists → 'cradle to grave'; brand loyalty → advertising in schools is wanted because children have to go to school (leading to obesity, mental health issues, etc) Pierre Bourdieu  economic capital concerted into:  Social capital (family, networks/having connections "it's not what you know, it's who you know")  Cultural capital (educational qualifications, fine/elite culture, cultural and linguistic strengths)  middle class kids more likely to receive these forms of capital  explains intergenerational reproduction of class (born poor>die poor; born middle class>die middle class, born rich>die rich) The Rights Revolution/Culture Wars  conflicts about ideology/ideas  struggle for rights by groups that have historically faced marginalization, such as aboriginals, and gays and lesbians  ex gay/lesbian rights, gun ownership, feminism/women's rights, euthanasia, etc SOCIALIZATION  "Socialization is the social process whereby people undergo development by interacting with the people around them."  we need social interaction for: brain, intellectual, social, and physical development (i.e. fine and gross motor development)  Nature vs. Nurture: → Sociology does not refute importance of biology → historical and contemporary studies of feral and neglected children  ex. Genie Wiley: was kept in a basement for years, which resulted in social deprivation  birth to death  self concept develops in relation to others  skill set (physical, mental, emotional, social skills)  agents of socialization: → absence or presence of church → school  explicit learning vs. subtle/nuanced learning  cross cultural variation  Primary Socialization: → Childhood: family is the most important agent  Secondary Socialization: → "Growing up is harder to do" → transition to
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