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Lecture 6

SOSC 1040 - Lecture 6 Notes

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York University
Social Science
SOSC 1040
Claudio Colaguori

SOSC 1040 Oct 11, 2012 Culture  Humans have to be taught to be human {feral children}  Human nature is shaped by culture  The way that humans behave towards each other is shaped by circumstances (not shaped by automatic reflexes); human nature is flexible  Our society: patriarchy, the state, militarism, and hierarchy were all born at the same time; reason: prior to rise of patriarchy, humans lived in relatively egalitarian societies  All societies are based around a form of patriarchy  Because patriarchy was enforced (before: were different forms of families); not as a result of “evolution”; systems of power excluded other cultures  Everything converges on the question of culture  Society itself is a product of culture  Cultural values, beliefs and behaviours serve as the program that determines how we construct our social realities. - Values and beliefs are the most important - Beliefs are so strong that can be destructive {Taliban shooting woman; what they wanted to protect from the world}  Culture is their identity, are scared for change  Definitions of “culture”: - “Culture” is one of the most complex concepts in our language - The essence of culture is IDEALLY to cultivate, sustain, and preserve human life - Also about tradition - The complex pattern of lifestyle, beliefs and behaviours that are specific to a human group and which define the identity of its members. - Culture often determines who we are, our self and identity, our values, our worldview, and our behaviour in a given situation. - Culture shapes human temperament and patterns of behaviour: - A large paradox (trapped in institutions of the past, developed to deal with problems that existed in the past) - One of the mediums (the most powerful) through which power is exercised  Contradictory - Culture as an enabling force / disabling force - Culture as a force of preservation / a force of domination & control - Culture as creativity / as restriction and conformity - Culture as changing & fluid / static & reifying - Humans survive not as individuals but as a group – survival chances are greatly increased when people enter into social relations with each other. - There are some common cultural universals: the need for physical survival, reproduction and dating/mating rituals, sexual gratification, food consumption and nutritional needs, interpersonal communications and shared systems of meaning such as religion and philosophy. What and how we fulfill these needs depends on our own specific culture and historical conditions. SOSC 1040 Oct 11, 2012  Margaret Mead: A cultural comparison of Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies : The Arapesh, Mundugumor, and Tchambuli. The c
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