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Lecture #3 - Culture, History, and Society

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SOC 103
Kelly Train

Lecture #3 – Culture, History, and Society June 27, 2012 1. Margaret Mead - She was doing anthropological work during the 1920s and 1930s - This was around the time where the dominant ideology was biological determinism - She was one of the first people to challenge biological determinism - Went into primitive societies to study them - Coined the phrase “socialization” - She used the methodology called “participant observation” to study them. She would live with these communities for months. o Still used today by anthropologists o Still one of the methods used by sociologists today - She learns that culture is actually “learned” and not determined biologically 2. What is culture? - Culture – ways that people survive in their own geographic, political, economic, etc. location - Values, beliefs, norms, the rules of the societies - Our culture is based entirely off capitalism - When talking about culture, we are actually talking about two different things: o Material  Tools  Art/Literature  Clothing, make up, jewellery o Non-material  Cognitive  Symbolic  Normative 3. Key concepts of Canadian culture - Eurocentrism and ethnocentrism - These two terms are not to be confused with each other, one is racist, one is not. - Racism involved two things: 1. Prejudice, 2. Discrimination (far more important) - Ethnocentrism – you use your culture as the standard and view other cultures through the lens of your own. Every culture practices this. Not racist because when you are a minority culture making fun of other cultures, you don’t have the power to actually discriminate or to put policies on them. Only prejudiced, not racist. - Eurocentrism – Western culture is the best and it imposes western values and beliefs onto other cultures – racist, because they have the power to deny people access to resources 4. Towards a dialect of culture - Hegemonic/Dominant culture (interchangeable terms) - Doesn’t have to be the majority, just the one with the most power (wealth) o Elite, white, anglosaxon male, protestant - Subculture - Counterculture - Multiculturaism policy 1971 o Cooptation - Didn’t accept coloured people till 62 - 5. Foraging societies: the first socioeconomic formation 6. The decline of foraging societies 7. The beginning of structured social inequality: Agrarian societies a. Private property b. Social class c. Slavery d. Power and structured inequality KEVIN’S NOTES Culture history and society Margaret Nead (1920-1930) – Anthropologist - Theory was still biological determinism as the ideology - She was the first person to challenge biological determinism (started in New Gunea and Samoa) - Coined the phrase “Socialization” - Margaret participated in vast societies to understand patterns and culture (Explains no s
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