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09 28 Lecture Notes - Culture - Components and Controversies.docx

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Sociology 1021E

Culture: Components and Controversies Three Key Questions: How is society organized? How is social order/control maintained? How does society influence you? Living in a Material World Material Social Non-material Technology World Values, norms - No natural social order - We live in a world with tension between material and non-material o Ex. Surrogacy – is illegal in Canada, but accepted in the US. Technology versus values. - Are our values controlled by technology or do our values contain technology? Components of Culture What we need to survive in our social environment We walk around with a toolbox of scripts, rules and costumes we need not only to survive, but to thrive.  Values: standards of behaviour We need to make sure everyone’s on the same page. o Contradictions: real vs ideal Ideal: everyone is concerned about the environment. Real: in practice, people don’t elect the green party and don’t like green technology like wind energy  Norms: rules of behaviour (folkways; mores; taboo) Criminal Code of Canada to “don’t pick your nose”. This why little kids are so tired and sleep for long periods of time – they’re getting this toolbox “I sit here, I raise my hand to talk, etc.” The gold star system – isn’t always about being “good” but about being compliant. Girls tend to be compliant more than boys  Culturally universal? Every culture/society has different things in their toolbox to equip them to deal with their.. yea. Cohesion and Diversity Tensions of migration and rapid social change  Multiple cultural forms We’ve tried smoothing everyone into one culture (residential schools) but that failed.  Ethnic enclaves: ethnocentrism Isolated communities – if you’re of a minority group, you’ll seek people out of your belief system and identity. You have your own stores, schools and churches – i.e. Chinatown Ethnocentrism – your culture is the best one. Stability requires system of integration  Assimilation or multiculturalism Assimilation – the melting pot (US) Multiculturalism – schools for groups based on difference (Canada) Ethnocentrism Consequence of internalized culture View own culture as natural and normal You’re a freak, do this my way. Judge other cultures to be inferior Ethnocentrism is necessary (functional)  Creates identity and community Can set up cultural conflict Case
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