Thursday October 22, 2009 ± Lecture 6 Societies and the Individual
Today read: BRYM Chapter 4, 16 pages 465-470
Solutions to problem of order:
1. Society is the product of human activity (we are its creators)
2. Individuals are the product of the society.
-Robinson Crusoe: Create the society the way they want since there were only two of them.
-Creation: For example, fish on Friday. Could become givens to follow.
-Fish becomes institutionalized and normative.
-Mythologized: Human origins hidden.
-Fish police: Constraining. For example, smoke police, green police, etc.
Individuals As Products Of Society
-Societal metaphor: Society is like a bus. You get on for a ride and thrown out when dead. Not as
constrained as a train and has the ability to move around more freely.
Are There Cultural Universals?
-Able to construct the way we want, not real natural givens.
-For example, family structure, rules governing our behaviour.
-There are rules yes, but they are not very specific. For example, like murder, cannot kill but able
to kill for self-defense (violence in the group).
-Incest taboo: Varies from place to place (how closely is the relation between one-another?)
±Funerals (ie. Mourning): Differ around the world like in Ireland, woman dress in black for one
-Emerging ones? Like human rights.
Virtually all social practices are relative
-Larceny, incest, infanticide, parricide, etc. everything has at some time been accounted a
Solution 1: Socialization
-Individuals must be socialized.