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Lecture 4

SOC100 Lecture 4.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Jayne Baker

January 17, 2013 Culture: Part 1 Breakdown 1. Course Goals and Learning Objectives 2. Sociological Definition of Culture vs. Commonsense Notions of Course Goals and Learning Objectives - “Differentiate between a commonsense perspective and a sociological perspective.” - Put in 4 different theories/perspectives Sociological Definition of Culture - Culture: refers to the symbolic and learned aspects of human society. The sum of traditions, practices, languages, symbols, beliefs, values, ideologies, and material objects that create a sense of similarity amongst a group of people. (Brym and Lie 2012: 31). Commonsense notions of culture in North America - Two ways to differentiate/culture is „used‟:  “High Culture”: the sum of traditions, practices, languages, symbols, values, ideologies, and material objects that are associated with the upper class. Judged in relation to the majority culture  Upper class is judged according to and distinguished from the popular culture.  It denotes someone has social distinction, it‟s an evaluation (to say someone has “high culture” evaluates them and says they have a high „value‟)  “High Culture” can only be possessed by a small group of people.  If many people had it, it wouldn‟t be „high‟.  It‟s a possession.  Two social practices applied to one social class.  It‟s a value that one class has that distinguishes them from one culture.  “Ethnic Culture”: the sum  A person is part of a cultural minority  A product of a social process that leads us to identify people with a specific ethnic culture January 17, 2013  People‟s ethnic culture acts as a demarcation that indicates who they are.  Social demarcation  Identifies someone from a social group  Defines an individual by their ethnicity.  Ethnicity: outsider (how Greeks divided groups of people)  Positive Evaluation: description of someone that micro sizes them to a certain ethnicity  To call someone as cultural is really a short version of saying “someone is a part of a certain culture”  Part of ethnocentrism  Ethnocentrism: judging someone from the basis of one‟s own culture: majority culture  In Canada and anywhere across the world, majority culture often forgets they have a culture; they see other places and don‟t really acknowledge that those places also have a culture. - In both ways culture is used, there are 3 biases 3 Biases in Commonsense of culture 1) Culture is an exclusive sphere  Limited to a group of people  Exclusive  Majority way used, still exclusive to a particular group  High cultures especially, seen as „cultural‟  Starts to exclude people 2) Culture is relational  Co-determined in relation to other cultures  Low culture in relation to high culture  Different cultural ethnicities are defined in relation to other cultures  When you act in that culture it‟s not different, only when you step outside of it  Example: Going to the States makes you realize how Canadian you really are 3) Culture represents differences  The way we think of culture in society we live in is that cult
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