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Lecture 1

PSYC14H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Culture Shock, Enculturation, Acculturation

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Sisi Tran

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PSYC14 Lecture 1
What do we mean by culture?
Expectations, language, norms, diversity, values, traditions, beliefs, identity, history, shock,
nationality, cognitive processes, stereotypes (meh)
Over 400 definitions of culture (but common in all definitions is that they are passed with
generations, groups of people, it is communicated)
Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes,
meanings, hierarchies, religion, roles, concepts of universe, material objects, passed
generation to generation
Commonalities in definitions
1. Humans interact with environments
Ecocultural Components: culture Is both constrained and shaped by a groups habitat
Culture is adaptive to environment
People develop language, writing, tools, skills, abstract ideas moral and aesthetic standards,
social patterns, norms…in adapting to their ecosystem
o But as environment changes, culture changes e.g. before norm to have 6 kids, but
now we don’t need that
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 parameters
Do people share
o A language?
o A time period?
o A geographic region?
3. Transmission to others
Like a teacher, she teaches so it’s a transmission of knowledge
types of transmission:
o vertical parent to offspring
o horizontal peer to peer (subtle feedback)
o oblique within systems of society (media, other adults, school)
Enculturation: process of transmitting cultural elements to others in ones own community,
serves as a source of continuity
Acculturation: another form og transmission that takes place from outside a persons own
Definition of culture
1. Culture emerges in adaptive ineteractions bt humans and environments
2. Culture consists of shared elements
3. Cuilture is transmitted through time
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