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Origins of Culture

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Malcolm Mac Kinnon

Origins of Culture -Total way of life of some groups How they talk, what they use Material Culture: Comprised of tools and techniques that enable people to get tasks accomplished Power Culture: The behaviour of a group is not random or all over the place, it is patterned or ordered. A level of predictability. Lecture Hall Decorum for example Culture is responsible for behavioural regularity Most powerful and wide spread factor of behaviour and mind Paradox and Culture (limits and opens up freedom on the other hand) Culture and social forces hold you back from doing what youre not supposed to do Culture increases our freedom Multiculturalism- youre freer to pursue your own ethnic identity Globalization Postmodernism- break down of old ways of thinking, replaced by relativistic ways of thinking, tolerance of how people behave are increased Culture constrains us Rationalization- increase of science and technology in our lives Bureaucratization- the growth of huge organizations, unions Consumerism- tendency to define ourselves in terms of goods we purchase o Consumers motivated to make purchases because of bombardment of advertising in form of North Americas shop-till-you-drop lifestyle o Can also chooseto buy items that help define us as members of particular subculture: Adherents of a set of distinctive values, norms, and practices within a larger culture o A constraint- everybodys livelihood is dependent on the things we buy Cultural Production and Symbolic Interactionism Acc. To symbolic interactionist view, people do not accept culture passively Rather, people actively produce and interpret culture, creatively fashioning it and attaching meaning to it in accordance with their diverse needs We have a certain liberty to choosehow culture influences us *feral child- found in wild, cannot walk, unable to seethings normal people see,cannot talk From Counterculture to Subculture Consumerism is remarkable effective at taming countercultures: Subversive subcultures that opposedominant values and seek to replace them EX. Hippies of 1960s and environmentalists today Consumerism acts as social control mechanism that normally prevents countercultures from disrupting social order
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