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Culture Chapter Notes

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SOC 101
Barry Mc Clinchey

Chapter 5 Culture 1. What is Culture? • Culture is a complex collection of values, beliefs, behaviours, and material objects shared by a group passed on from one generation to the next ---everything! It is passed on from one generation to the next. • Five defining features – Culture is learned – Culture is shared – Culture is transmitted: from one generation to the next – Culture is cumulative: grows and builds on itself – Culture is human ************************************************************************ • Material Culture – The tangible artifacts and physical objects found in a given culture • Non-material Culture – The intangible and abstract components of a society, including values and norms • Values: beliefs about ideal goals and behaviours • Norms: rules that outline appropriate behaviour • Folkways: informal norms that suggest customary ways of behaving, less important. – ie. the way you except to pass someone on the sidewalk • Mores: – norms that carry a strong sense of social importance and value. – expected to do.. MORE important and serious • Laws- norms that are formally defined and enacted in legislation. very important. there is consequence if not followed • Sanction: a penalty for norm violation 2. Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism • Ethnocentrism ****** – The tendency to view one’s own culture as superior to others – Restrictive in the sense that it does not allow one to appreciate diversity • Cultural Relativism ****** – and understood on their own termsve intrinsic worth and need to be evaluated – Avoid judging other cultures customs and traditions before trying to understand them • Being aware of ethnocentrism and cultural relativism helps you become a more informed and critical thinker 3. Language and Culture • A symbol is something that stands for or represents something else •
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