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10 03 Lecture Notes - Culture - Authentic Expression or Sales Pitch.docx

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Sociology 1021E

Culture; Authentic Expression or Sales Pitch? Components of Culture What we need to survive in our social environment  Symbols  Values: standards of behaviour  Norms: rules of behaviour  Sanctions  Artifacts When we travel to other places, we tend to look for things we’re familiar with How does it work? Functionalist  Social control: moral consensus of shared values and norms  Necessary loss of free will  Determines individual choice and action True individualism and free will need to be reined in to prevent anarchy. Make it so our choices – what we wear, who we partner with – are predetermined for us. Achieves significant social control. Critical  Imposed values and norms o Elite interests ethnocentrism  Dominant culture defined social institutions o Media, education when institutions take on values you need to ask “why” and “whose values” Heterosexuality, for example, is seen as “normal” – is this actually a form of social order for a higher purpose? What if it isn’t? Homosexuality used to be punishable, but now it’s protected and seen as a right. Culture provides identity and social inclusion Must perform cultural norms and adhere to values  Masculinity  Femininity To be socially included, you need to conform to cultural norms. Conforming becomes the norm – we don’t ask “why do I feel compelled to dress or speak this way?” Is gender socially or biologically constructed? The Body as Cultural Practice Women’s tattooed bodies It’s been suggested that this will become like straightening/blow drying your hair Men’s shredded physiques Bodies are where cultural values are printed and performed Erotic and Subversive Tattoo location on body Symbol selection: roses and hearts Avoidance of stigma; enhance desire  Sexualized placement: erotic o Ankles, shoulders, lower back, bikini line. A lot of the time, the girls can’t see the tattoo – do it for someone else’s visual whatnot. Subversion Hidden resistance to femininity Impression management; passing as desirable It is dangerous for women to be seen as unfeminine – not everyone can see my tattoo – I will reveal it when I feel like it. “Privately comm
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