PSYC14H3 Lecture 1: Lecture 1
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PSYC14 Lecture 1
-Groups of people.
-Transferred from people to people (generations).
-Accumulates over time.
-The way that it is communicated is different.
-1) Humans interact with environments:
• Ecocultural components: Culture is both constrained and shaped by a group’s habitat.
• Culture is adapted to the environment.
• People develop language, writing, tools, skills, abstract ideas, moral and aesthetic standards, social
patterns, norms…in adapting to their ecosystem.
• When the environment changes, then the culture also changes.
-2) Culture consists of shared elements:
• Shared practices and shared meanings.
• In specifying the limits of culture, people have looked to these shared elements as one set of defining
• Do people share a language? A time period? A geographic region?
-3) Transmission to others:
• Teaching is a transmission of knowledge.
• Types of transmission: Vertical (from parent to offspring. The parent sees the child doing something
wrong and teaches them the better thing to do). Horizontal (from peer to peer. More of a mutual
process. Transmits lots of values of a culture). Oblique (within the system of a society.)
• Enculturation: Process of transmitting cultural elements to others in one’s own community, serves as a
source of continuity.
• Acculturation: Another form of transmission that takes place from outside a person’s own cultural
group, serves as a source of discontinuity.
Definition of Culture
-Culture emerges in adaptive interactions between humans and environments.
-Culture consists of shared elements.
-Culture is transmitted across time.
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