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3. Culture -Oct 15.docx

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Sociology 1021E
Secil Erdogan

Culture October 15, 2012 Being and Becoming Human To be human is to rely on culture and social networks, instead of instincts, to get your biological needs met and express yourself Put even more simply –To be human is to be a social being. It’s sometimes helpful to think of humans as computers. Using this metaphor:  Culture –the software or apps that make the computer able to function in society and do useful things  Socialization –how the cultural software is installed on the computer  Social Networks –like the Internet that connects each individual computer and makes them all more powerful Culture 1. Definition of Culture a. Culture is the symbols, beliefs, traditions, practices, and ideologies that create and guide everyday life. b. Society –We define “society” as a large group of people in a particular geographic area who share a common culture c. Culture –what society holds in common d. Mass Culture –the shared culture of a large group of people e. Subculture –a distinctive culture that exists within the larger societal culture 2. Two Aspects of Culture a. Material Culture –artifacts of society. Ie houses, tools, computers b. Non-Material Culture –abstract creations. Ie language, norms, values and beliefs c. What is a cultural element? i. Anything that is shared by the members of some social group, is passed onto new members; and in some ways effect their behaviour or their perceptions of the world. The three most important elements are values, norms and roles. 3. Components of Culture a. Values –the abstract ideals or generally accepted standards of behaviour embraced by any society; help define right vs. wrong b. Norms –very often the values of a society are strongly linked to what we call its norms. Norms are precise rules –or more defining principles by which any society comes to govern itself –they tell members of a society what is prohibited c. Roles –a role is a cluster of behavioural expectations associated with some particular social position within a group or society d. Beliefs –ideas that members of any given society respect and follow e. Types of Norms i. Folkways –really informal customs, in some cases referred to as etiquette. When folkways are violated, there are no moral condemnations or harsh sanctions from the rest of the populations. 1. Least important norm in society –ie. burping in public ii. Taboos –among the strongest of norms. When taboo is violated, it causes revulsion in the community, and punishment is severe 1. ie. murder, ince
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