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Sociology and Anthropology
SA 150
Amie Mc Lean

Ch. 2: Culture January-14-13 11:04 AM SA 150- Lecture 2 – January 14, 2013 I. Rosa Parks (incomplete, walked in on half of this) A. Deviant: chose not to move to back of the bus; segregation was norm of that time II. Deviance vs. Norms A. Deviance: violation of social norms 1. ie. Yelling on the bus, blasting music on a bus...etc. 2. Results: people stare, some get arrested depending on the situation, people might say something, you will be ostricized B. Norms: standards of behaviourl generally accepted ways of doing things 1. Social Control: all the complex ways that society has in place so that people conform to social norms a. ie. Sanctions: rewards or punishments to adopting a behaviour i. ie. Rewards for meeting deadlines, punishments for missing deadlines; a phone rings in the class, people will shuffle and stare to let you know that it is not normal 2. Social norms are everywhere!! III. Anomie A. Anomie can occur at an individual or a society level. Anomie: lack of social norms, it describes the social bonds between a community 1. Individual-level: indicates lack of connection/contact with society a. Lack clear goals, not sure what is expected of them, usually confused b. Anomie describes a: i. Feeling ii. Degree of social solidarity iii. Low level of integration in society iv. State of normlessness IV. Suicide as a case study: Aboriginal Suicide in Canada A. A particularly higher rate of suicde of the Aboriginals in Canada B. Shows that our personal choices are influenced by social context; the indigenous people were diverse groups that faced colonization C. Durkheim (French theorist, 1987) 1. Explained complex social forces at work 2. Likelihood to suicide decreased when social solidarity decreased 3. Focused on the social forces linked to suicide as opposed to the psychological or biological explanations D. Social Factors: Suicide and Aboriginal Communities 1. Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1995) 2. Culture Stress: key factor in suicide rates 3. Jack Hix: social scientist who recognized that historically, the suicidal rates of the Inuit people were low, until after colonization, the rates increased significantly 4. Historical Context: colonialism a. When cultural practices are challenged, suicidal rates are affected V. Ethnocentrism: using standards of your own culture to evaluate and judge another culture; belief that your culture is superior to anothers A. impairs sociological knowledge; individuals who are ethnocentric fail to recognize problems within their own culture B. Seeing the strange in the familiar: thinking critically about your own culture vs. Taking it for granted and taking it as the “norm” C. Ethnocentrism and Academia 1. Science is considered objective and unbiased, but scientists subconsciously take into account: a. Who funds them? i. ie. If a scientist is funded by a cigarette company, they may be less inclined to publicize any findings that may prove negatively against smoking b. Why did this scientist choose his/her study? c. What is the background of the scientist? 2. Positivism D. Ethnocentrism and Cultural Evolution 1. Cultures develop from traditional to modern 2. We believe that some cultures are more “developed” than others, and we consider those other countries as “traditional, undeveloped, uncivilized, backwards” 3. We believe that European colonizations, or “Western” societies are superior to other countries and that others are lesser developed; we believe ourselves to be modern, developed, civilized and forward-looking VI. Cultural Relativism: all cultures have intrinsic work A. ie. Canadian “Private Property” vs. Scottish “Right to Roam” 1. Canadian Private Property: we believe that individuals can control who has access to their land vs. Scottish “Right to Roam” where it is a tradition that people should have access to your land as long as they are acting responsibly a. A value for personal security and peace vs. Traditions that promote community and share responsibility VII. Culture A. Culture (defined in a sociologist's POV): the share practices, ideas, and material objects that form the way of life of the people 1. it is SHARED a. ie. experiences, cultural meanings 2. it is TRANSMITTED a. ie. from one generation to the next 3. It is CUMULATIVE a. ie. it evolves and changes in relation to what it has been before 4. It is HUMAN a. It is distinctively human (although other species have practices as well,human culture ensures our surivival vs. Being strictly ruled by imperitives such as physical survival) B. Cultural Mosaic: having a diverse culture where it embraces all nationalities; multiculturalism 1. ie. Canada C. Melting Pot: where everyone is encouraged to believe and live one sort of culture; homogenity 1. ie. USA D. John Quarter 1. Created the “Vertical Mosaic”: varying levels of wealth, status...etc. Depending on ethnicity a. ie. European-Canadians tend to be consistently wealthier than aboriginal Canadians ...etc. b. Ideal culture vs. Real culture E. Culture Shock: the personal disorientation a person may feel when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life due to immigration or a visit to a new country, or to a move between social environments, also a simple travel to another type of life 1. Multiculturalism provides a “cushion” to culture shock F. Culture's 5 Major Components: 1. Symbols a. Given meaning by the people who use them b. Stands for something else i. ie. “I am Canadian” Beer commercial ii. Different symbols that represent Canadian Culture: beavers, mounties, totem poles, hockey, poutine, timmy's maple syrup, igloos c. Symbols are powerful, they carry cultural significance d. Canadian multiculturalism has been challenged, there is controversy between cultures i. ie. can Turbans be a part of the RCMP uniform? -- brought to court 2. Language a. Very much like a symbol, represents a culture b. Rules & meanings c. Cultural transmission (how culture gets passed on from one gen. to the next) 3. Values a. Culturally defined standards b. broad guidelines for living c. What is important? i. ie. Canadian private culture vs. Scottish right to roam d. Broad principles underlying beliefs i. Belief: is a specific expression of cultural values; specific statements that people hold to be true 4. Norms a. varies from formal to informal b. varies from mores to folkways i. Mores: differ between right and wrong - society's standards
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