Culture; Authentic Expression or Sales Pitch?
Components of Culture
What we need to survive in our social environment
Values: standards of behaviour
Norms: rules of behaviour
When we travel to other places, we tend to look for things we’re familiar with
How does it work?
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.
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
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
Culture provides identity and social inclusion
Must perform cultural norms and adhere to values
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
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.
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.