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Lecture 19

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McMaster University

Culture and Society: 4 types of Norms: Folkways, Mores, Taboos, Customs Sanction (punishment) strength: how strong does society punish people for violating any of these norms Weakest  Folkways Customs Mores Strongest Taboos What are norms? -they are more specific to groups and individuals here -fewer people adhere to norms -norms govern everyday conduct (mundane = ordinary) routines -they are concrete guides to conduct -they tell us what is permitted/allowed (prescribed) and what is not allowed (proscribed) -they vary widely particularly in a modern society that is multicultural (they are more complicated) -they refer to some average behaviour of a culture -modern societies tend to be more accepting of deviance -norms that stray outside the average, modern societies tend to be more accepting of that than traditional societies (there is more flexibility in modern societies) -there is greater opportunity to do your own thing -Sanctions can be informal (done by parents, siblings, friends etc.) -if informal sanctions don’t work, the culture has at its disposal formal sanctions (police and courts can impose these) -these can be employed in the workplace (ex. getting fired) Modern societies have many subcultures: -modern societies are called pluralistic (there is a diversity of norms due to many subcultures) Ethnic norms: -in multicultural societies there are many ethnic subcultures (each has different norms) -many ethnic groups have extended family in which aunts, uncles, grandparents etc. all play a role in raising the children -in your immediate family, only your parents and siblings play a role in socializing Occupational norms: -each occupation has its own mores -there are norms and standards that govern how you do your job -there are guides of conducts -there are ~ 4000 occupations in Canada and each represents a small normative universe -they each have common outlooks of the world within themselves -ex. Journalists always protect their sources -whistle blowers: people who work in the government and see corruption in the government (illegal doings) and expose these -they meet up with journalists and give them the story about government corruption -journalists will never identify that person -many journalists have gone to jail instead of identify the person who gave them their story -if a journalist does identify their sources, they probably wouldn’t get anyone to tell them stories again Countercultural norms: -these norms oppose and reject mainstream norms -ex. Hippie counterculture -rejected consumerism -rejected trying to get rich (wealth) -preferred to live on farms -weren’t interested in the “rat race” Music norms: -norms are not as quite countercultura
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