Class Notes (905,368)
CA (538,413)
UTSC (32,636)
Sociology (2,441)
SOCA01H3 (592)
Lecture 8

Lecture 8

5 Pages
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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA01H3
Professor
Sheldon Ungar

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Thursday, November 5, 2009 - Lecture 8 Sociology of Culture
READ: Brym Chapter 14 pages 441-418, Brym 18, Ungar chapter 10.
Why Study Culture?
Consider the following important questions:
-Who do you hangout with? Why?
-What types of music is cool in your books?
-What is with the skinny jeans deal?
-Why are you hear to listen to me talk at you for an hour?
-These relate to values, beliefs, ideologies,
What is Culture?
Two perspectives:
-Culture as symbolic:
Requiring interpretation and meaning making through interaction.
-Culture vs. structure:
Culture: Abstract elements and their direct physical embodiments. (Ex. paintings, skinny
jeans, music we listen to, etc.)
Structure: Concrete elements and social processes/systems. (Ex. political systems)
-These perspectives do not provide us with a clear-cut definition. Like the health care system,
does the study count as a cultural research? Cultural things include emotions, values. This shows
us that it is not so clear-cut with culture and structure.
Culture Structure
-Symbolic boundaries -Group formation
-Social stratification
-Differential access to resources
-For example, why use a LV bag? Reasons may be the social class that one wants to show that
they are in.
Research Topics in Culture
-Production and Reception of movies, literature, music, fashions, etc.
-Reception looks as people and how they receive culture.
Culture is Dynamic
-Culture varies along time, space, and social groups.
-For example, top baby names are very different from 1989 and 1940 between whites and blacks.
Marxist Perspective on Culture
-Base (Mode of production) Æ Superstructure (Culture)
-Culture is a product of the capitalist system and serves to legitimate it.
Neo-Marxist Perspective
-Culture is not a reflection of the base. Believe that culture is pro-capitalist and reflect goals of
certain groups. (Those who have special stakes in culture.)
www.notesolution.com
Functionalist Perspective on Culture
-Culture provides consensus, order, stability, and solidarity allowing society to run smoothly.
-For example, social solidarity runs through rituals.
Symbolic Interactionist Perspective
-Cultural meanings arise from interaction and communication between people. Individuals create
and implement culture.
-Ann Swidler looked at the culture toolkit. Consists of how to act, flow, (Ex. job interviews)
-Like meaning-PDNLQJWKURXJKJRVVLS«*RVVLSLQDFWLRQ
Important Concepts I
Three types of cultural capital
-Objectified³PDWHULDOREMHFWVDQGPHGLDOLNHZULWLQJVSDLQWLQJVPRQXPHQWVLQVWUXPHQWVWKDW
are transmissible LQPDWHULDOLW\´
For example, a piano in a house.
-Embodied7KRVHLQWDQJLEOHGLVSRVLWLRQVNLOOVDQGNQRZOHGJH¶VWKDWDOORZSHRSOHWR
understand and interpret culture.
For example, having the knowledge and skill to play the piano.
-Institutionalized: Educational qualifications conferring on its holder a conventional, constant,
legally guaranteed value with respect to culture.
For example, why are we sitting in class? Because we want to credentials for the future.
-There is some degree of exchange between cultural capital and economic capital.
For example, we need cultural capital in order to gain economic capital like getting a job.
Important Concepts
What are the functions of cultural capital?
-Social Reproduction: Use of culture for cohesion/exclusion. To maintain their level in society
when parents invest in their children they way their parents invested in them.
-Social mobility8VHFXOWXUHWRPRYHXSVRFLDOODGGHU([SDUHQWDOLQYHVWPHQWVLQFKLOGUHV
classical music lessons.) Move to a new cultural society.
Important Concepts II
-Symbolic boundaries: Conceptual distinctions that we make to categorize objects, people, and
practices and even time and space.
-Types of music draw boundaries; classical music is highbrow, while rap for example, is
lowbrow.
-Richard Peterson said that high-class people are listen to lowbrow music too.
Important Concept II
-Where do these different musical tastes come from?
Important Concepts III
%RXUGLHX¶V+DELWXV
-Learn how to act, behave, what sounds good, foods you like, how to talk, etc, are learned from
childhood but are endured through life.
-Habitus we develop in childhood affect our life in the future.
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Thursday, November 5, 2009 - Lecture 8 Sociology of Culture READ: Brym Chapter 14 pages 441-418, Brym 18, Ungar chapter 10. Why Study Culture? Consider the following important questions: -Who do you hangout with? Why? -What types of music is cool in your books? -What is with the skinny jeans deal? -Why are you hear to listen to me talk at you for an hour? -These relate to values, beliefs, ideologies, What is Culture? Two perspectives: -Culture as symbolic: Requiring interpretation and meaning making through interaction. -Culture vs. structure: Culture: Abstract elements and their direct physical embodiments. (Ex. paintings, skinny jeans, music we listen to, etc.) Structure: Concrete elements and social processes/systems. (Ex. political systems) -These perspectives do not provide us with a clear-cut definition. Like the health care system, does the study count as a cultural research? Cultural things include emotions, values. This shows us that it is not so clear-cut with culture and structure. Culture Structure -Symbolic boundaries -Group formation -Social stratification -Differential access to resources -For example, why use a LV bag? Reasons may be the social class that one wants to show that they are in. Research Topics in Culture -Production and Reception of movies, literature, music, fashions, etc. -Reception looks as people and how they receive culture. Culture is Dynamic -Culture varies along time, space, and social groups. -For example, top baby names are very different from 1989 and 1940 between whites and blacks. Marxist Perspective on Culture -Base (Mode of production) Æ Superstructure (Culture) -Culture is a product of the capitalist system and serves to legitimate it. Neo-Marxist Perspective -Culture is not a reflection of the base. Believe that culture is pro-capitalist and reflect goals of certain groups. (Those who have special stakes in culture.) www.notesolution.com Functionalist Perspective on Culture -Culture provides consensus, order, stability, and solidarity allowing society to run smoothly. -For example, social solidarity runs through rituals. Symbolic Interactionist Perspective -Cultural meanings arise from interaction and communication between people. Individuals create and implement culture. -Ann Swidler looked at the culture toolkit. Consists of how to act, flow, (Ex. job interviews) -Like meaning-PDNLQJWKURXJKJRVVLS«*RVVLSLQDFWLRQ Important Concepts I Three types of cultural capital -Objectified³PDWHULDOREMHFWVDQGPHGLDOLNHZULWLQJVSDLQWLQJVPRQXPHQWVLQVWUXPHQWVWKDWare transmissible LQPDWHULDOLW\´ For example, a piano in a house. -Embodied7KRVHLQWDQJLEOHGLVSRVLWLRQVNLOOVDQGNQRZOHGJH¶VWKDWDOORZSHRSOHWRunderstand and interpret culture. For example, having the knowledge and skill to play the piano. -Institutionalized: Educational qualifications conferring on its holder a conventional, constant, legally guaranteed value with respect to culture. For example, why are we sitting in class? Because we want to credentials for the future. -There is some degree of exchange between cultural capital and economic capital. For example, we need cultural capital in order to gain economic capital like getting a job. Important Concepts What are the functions of cultural capital? -Social Reproduction: Use of culture for cohesion/exclusion. To maintain their level in society when parents invest in their children they way their parents invested in them. -Social mobility8VHFXOWXUHWRPRYHXSVRFLDOODGGHU([SDUHQWDOLQYHVWPHQWVLQFKLOGUHQ¶Vclassical music lessons.) Move to a new cultural society. Important Concepts II -Symbolic boundaries: Conceptual distinctions that we make to categorize objects, people, and practices and even time and space. -Types of music draw boundaries; classical music is highbrow, while rap for example, is lowbrow. -Richard Peterson said that high-class people are listen to lowbrow music too. Important Concept II -Where do these different musical tastes come from? Important Concepts III %RXUGLHX¶V+DELWXV -Learn how to act, behave, what sounds good, foods you like, how to talk, etc, are learned from childhood but are endured through life. -Habitus we develop in childhood affect our life in the future. www.notesolution.com -Habitus can change over time, ideas of good and bad can change but the basis sticks through with you in life. Take Home Message -Definition of culture can be very broad this examines meanings, beliefs, ritual practices, art forms, ideologies, values discourses, languages, etc. -Underlying theme is that culture helps us to understand our relations with other people and society. (Example, why we use high-class purses, who we marry, etc.) -Important link between culture and social structure/stratification, reinforced through differential possession of cultural capital. -Habitus shapes cultural tastes and practices, bases from which we draw social boundaries. Part 2 Cultural Change -Consequences of the mass media and information technologies mean that nothing in certain. Mass Society Hypothesis (1950s) now known as Globalization -Media breakdowns local barriers -Homogeneous everyone. -Hollywood movies. Dallas and the Soviet Union -7KH6HFUHW.HQ\DQ0XVOLPZKRZLOO5XOHXVDOO$PHULFD¶V0DUFKWR&RPPXQLVP -Notion of moving towards communism. The Internet Balkanizes Us! -Create own reality and ignore anything that challenges it. Live our own world on the net. -Full of dis-information and fantasy: birthing conspiracy. To maintain their level in society. Possible Consequences of Electronic Revolution -TV/Video mediates reality. -Information overload. -Fear culture (cocoon). -Empowerment (Inglehart). -Postmodernism. TV Mediates Reality -If not on TV, never happened assumption. -If cannot do in 30 seconds, never (sound bites) -TV is the whole noise of modern life. -History as black hole. (History is not on television.) www.notesolution.com TV and Revolution, 1989 -Berlin Wall -Tiananmen Square and Polish election. Beyond TV ± New Connectivity -Cell phones and revolt? Like parties! Cell/internet Pictures -Burma (Myanmar) -Iran Information Overload -1960 ± more scientific papers published than all previous human history. -Overload as distressing, feel rushed. -VS. Semi-attentive attitude. -Ex. more paper use than in the past decade. Cocooning -Staying in a safe place. -Fear culture. -Work at home. -Suburbanization. -Technology. Gated Communities -Keep outsiders out. Empowerment -Choice: 100s of satellite channels, net info.. -Control: Remote controls, VCR end real time. Inglehardt (empowerment) Empowerment Model System level changes Æ Individual Level Changes Æ System level Consquences Satisfy basic needs www.notesolution.com Increased need for Self-realization Rising levels of education Rise if elite Increased political challenges Skills Expansion of communication Postmodernism (from text) -Involves the eclectic mixing of cultural elements from various times and places. -Eclectic: choosing what is best or preferred from a variety of sources or styles. -2QH¶VVHQVHRIWLPHDQGSODFHEHFRPHVIUDJPHQWHGDQGXQVWDEOH -Progress becomes uncertain; unifying values and beliefs cease to exist. www.notesolution.comThursday, November 5, 2009 - Lecture 8 Sociology of Culture READ: Brym Chapter 14 pages 441-418, Brym 18, Ungar chapter 10. Why Study Culture? Consider the following important questions: -Who do you hangout with? Why? -What types of music is cool in your books? -What is with the skinny jeans deal? -Why are you hear to listen to me talk at you for an hour? -These relate to values, beliefs, ideologies, What is Culture? Two perspectives: -Culture as symbolic: Requiring interpretation and meaning making through interaction. -Culture vs. structure: Culture: Abstract elements and their direct physical embodiments. (Ex. paintings, skinny jeans, music we listen to, etc.) Structure: Concrete elements and social processessystems. (Ex. political systems) -These perspectives do not provide us with a clear-cut definition. Like the health care system, does the study count as a cultural research? Cultural things include emotions, values. This shows us that it is not so clear-cut with culture and structure. Culture Structure -Symbolic boundaries -Group formation -Social stratification -Differential access to resources -For example, why use a LV bag? Reasons may be the social class that one wants to show that they are in. Research Topics in Culture -Production and Reception of movies, literature, music, fashions, etc. -Reception looks as people and how they receive culture. Culture is Dynamic -Culture varies along time, space, and social groups. -For example, top baby names are very different from 1989 and 1940 between whites and blacks. Marxist Perspective on Culture -Base (Mode of production) Superstructure (Culture) -Culture is a product of the capitalist system and serves to legitimate it. Neo-Marxist Perspective -Culture is not a reflection of the base. Believe that culture is pro-capitalist and reflect goals of certain groups. (Those who have special stakes in culture.) www.notesolution.com
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