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University of Toronto St. George
Robert Brym

Lecture3 – September 25 , 2013 th Culture Operationalization in Actions Human Development Index - HDI: human development index, used to rank countries by level of human development - Operationalized as:  Life expectancy at birth, as an index of population health and longevity  Education index, mean years of schooling  Standard of living, as measured by gross national income per capita Culture - Refers to the knowledge, language, values, customs, and material objects that are passed from person to person and from one generation to the next in a human group or society - While a society is made up of people, a culture is made up of ideas, behaviours, and material possessions - Culture includes: how we think, how we act, what e own - Everything that we create with our hands and our minds Culture II - Material culture  Refers to the physical creations that members of a society make, use, and shore - Nonmaterial culture  Consists of the abstract human creations of society that influence people`s behaviour  Language, beliefs, values, rules of behaviours, family patterns, and political systems - We must learn about culture through interaction, observation, and imitation in order to participate as members of the group - To be fully functioning member of society must learn through peers Culture III - Culture shapes not only what we do but also what we think and how we feel - Elements of what we commonly, but wrongly, describe as `human nature` - Culture influence strongly social human nature aspects - Culture is …  Shared  Learned  Not something we are born with, come to know  Taken for granted  In homogeneous societies where everything is the same, less diversity  Symbolic  Varies across time and place Culture IV Lecture3 – September 25 , 2013 th Culture - Given the extent of cultural differences in the world and people`s tendency to view their own way of life as ``natural``, it is no wonde3r that travellers often find themselves uneasy as they encounter an unfamiliar culture (i.e. culture shock)  Culture Shock: suddenly coming face to face with unusual way of doing things (different than yours)  Less culture shock when exposed ti diversity of human life - No way of life is `natural` to humanity, even though most people around the world view their own behaviour that way Language - Provides the categories through which social reality is understood - Does not simply describe reality, but also influences out perception of reality - Shaping reality to fit their needs - What language you use impacts the understanding or meaning people take - Use particular language to make something more appealing or less appealing Components of Culture - Symbols  Something that meaningfully represent something else - Language  A system of symbols that express ideas and enables people to think and communicate with one another - Values  Collective ideas about what is right and wrong, good or bad, and desirable or undesirable in a particular culture - Norm  Established rules of behaviour or standards of conduct Culture and Judgement - Ethnocentrism  Tendency for person to judge other cultures exclusively by standards of their own culture  Dangers: implicit hierarchy of cultures (force other cultures to adopt high culture) - Cultural Relativism  Judging cultural practices and beliefs exclusively in the cultural context in which they appear  Danger: justification to turn a blind eye to violations or universal rights Globalization Lecture3 – September 25 , 2013 th
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