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Lecture 2

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University of Toronto St. George
Sheldon Ungar

INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY (SOC101) Professor Robert Brym DATE: September 16 LECTURE 2: Culture Culture: The sum of socially transmitted ideas, practices, and material objects that people create to overcome real-life problems. It gives us guidelines for how to act. Ex 1: Hero`s Aelopile was invented around the 1 century CE, used as a means of opening th doors. The idea then died until the late 18 century when the Industrial Revolution was taking place. Ex 2: The Atanasoff-Berry Digital Computer was invented in early 1939. The idea died off until it was needed during WWII. Inventions like these became part of culture when there was a widespread social need for them. Society: Exists when people interact and share culture, generally in a geographically delimited area Ethnocentrism: judging other cultures exclusively by the standards of your own culture Cultural Relativism: the belief that all elements of all cultures should be respected as equally valid Ex. Cliterectomy- Should this practice be allowed? Basically, we should reject cultural practices that take away universal values like dignity, freedom and justice Culture provides an oppo
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