SOC101Y1 Lecture Notes - Consumerism

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19 Apr 2012
September 21st 2011
SOC101- Lecture
- Culture is a set of practices or symbols that somehow fulfill the human need
to lower anxiety, etc.
- Culture guides us on how we are suppose to act
- Superstitions differ from culture
o Culture is passed through generation, it is collective
o People must interact socially to transmit culture
- Culture: is the sum of socially transmitted ideas, practices, and material
objects that people create to overcome real life problems. Culture gives us
guidelines for how to act.
- Society: exists when people interact and share culture generally in a
geographically limited area
- Hero’s Apologize, 1st Century c.e
o He used this idea and created the first steam engine.
- The Atanasoff-Berry Digital Computer, circa 1939
- We take culture for granted
- Understanding the culture of other people is difficult because we consider
the practices of those cultures.
- ETHNOCENTRISM: invluves judging another culture exclusively by the
standards of one’s own.
- CULTURAL RELATIVISM is the belief that all elements of all cultures should
be respected as equally valid.
- “twin dangers”
-> Aspects of culture both frees us and constrains us:
- Freedom
o More opportunity for cultural expression than ever before
o Ex: since 1980, there has been an explosion of opportunity for
inexpensive international travel, trade, etc.
o Many more people have migrated from one country to another;
transnational organizations have formed.
o As a result, the world has become globalized; people today are
obligated to accept the culture into which they were born.
- Constrain
o Because we only have raw materials to work from that other people
have provided, there are constraints on what we can actually do.
o Lack of authority
- Postmodernism involves:
o The eclectic mixing of cultural elements from different times and
o The erosion of authority; and
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