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5 Dec 2010

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L2 Culture:
In order to justify the existence of sociology as a sperate field of study ± Durkheim
needed to prove that social forces exist ± that they do indeed influence on sucicde ±
Durkheim found this ± society has its own existence separate from biology, psych ± what
Durk wanted to do was find the social side of human beings ± so his studies of sucide
located that social sucide ± finding that justification
Culture - What Is It:
A collection of Social forces that surround us ± the most general thing we can say
These forces manifest outside and inside us
Internal social forces ± are called constains b/c they hold you back
from doing certain things
is the sum of ideas, practices, and material objects that people create to deal
with real-life problems.
Material objects ± are material culture
Each culture consists of material objects
The most important material object in our culture is money
Two Faces of Culture ± paradox of culture
Without culture we would have no idea what free is
Our lives are increasingly governed by the twin forces of
rationalization and consumerism
Rationalization is the application of the most efficient
means to achieve given goals and the unintended
consequences of doing so.
new idea in human history
Consumerism is a lifestyle that involves defining oneself
in terms of the goods one purchases.
When we observe any social group ± like a family, class or nation ± what we
observe is that behavior is not random
What It is ± it is patterned ± it is predictable
Being predictable means ± ppl tend to conform when they are in certain types of
Culture is the most popular wide spread ± pervasive ± social force that governs
human conduct --- social forces are much stronger then cultural
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Everyone has a diffrn psychology ± which may come up in some situation ± but
for the most part ± culture is the much greater force
Culture thus constains ± freedom
Culture produces social order ± which allows us to live together in large groups in
a relative peaceful way -
Do not confuse sociological use of culture with the popular use of culture
They mean diffrn things
Popular accounts of culture ± someone who is sophisticated is cultured
Cultured vs uncultured
Do not confues the sociolpogical meaning of culture from populate
definition ± of high brow low brow
culture cannot be idiosyncratic
its must be almost homgeize
it makes society possible
it makes collective action possible
you do not poseess it at birth ± you learn it from other ppl
you are not born with it
it comes from other ppl
passed on to you ± from others
culture shapes the way we see the world
we see the world through cultural spectacles ± glasses
culture provies us with a window on the world
inutis ± many words to describe ice
culture socializes you to see and ingot this
culture is arbitrary but we forget this when we are socalized
cannot justify or prove aspects of culture
Some aspects are absolute ± math --- 1+1-2
The arbitrary aspect of culture can lean to cultural distortiaon
Æ Dangers of Cultrual Observation:
There are two ways in which our observations
of another culture may be distorted:
We may become too deeply immersed in the other culture
No longer objective
We may judge the other culture exclusively by the
standards of our own culture ± ethnocentrism.
Judge other cultures by stands of our own culture
Be judgemental
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Culture is aquired ± ppl are socially constructed
We are who we are b/c of culture
When humans are born more so then any other species ± the mind is an
empty vessel
If these requirements are not met ± it is not classified as culture
Nurture vs nurture
Some biluinugal studies show that we do have some innate ability
All sciences attempt to classify ± organize subject matter into concepts ± we can utilize
these to apply to a variety of circumstances
Concepts allow you to compare and analyze and understand
Socology is not interested in which culture is the best ± interested in identifiying those
factors that are common to all cultures ± all cultures organize molarity ± we are the moral
animal ± culture allows for this ± what is right what is wrong --
Brick and Mortar
Levels of analysis
Most abstract- Values ± more inclusive
Intermediate ± beliefs
Very concrete - norms
Most abstract ± shared by all ppl ± in a given cultures
Things that everybody in a culture share ± or vitually everybody ± even in a
multicultural society like Canada ± which has diffrn ways of looking at the world
and understanding it ± we still share the same values ± education
Constutions ± carry the values of a culture
The broadest
not everyone believes in beliefs
beliefs can varry within a culture
freedom on conciouss ± the freedom to be religious in any way you sit fit
belief on relgion
o not as widely shared
value ± not to handicap ppl based on belief
value ± widely shared
(c) NORMS ± more concrete
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