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Lecture

Chapter 3-Sociology (Compass) Brief but detailed summary of Chapter 3 for the Sociology: Compass textbook Cdn 3rd Edition.


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCI 1010
Professor
Timothy Mc Cauley

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Chapter 3: Culture
Culture as Problem Solving
- Culture: in the sum of practices, languages, symbols, beliefs, values, ideologies, and
material objects that people create to deal with real-life problems; enable people to adapt
to, and thrive in, their environments
- High culture: culture consumed mainly by upper classes (opera, ballet, etc)
- Popular/Mass culture: culture consumed by all classes
Origins of Culture:
- Abstraction: capacity to general ideas or ways of thinking that are not linked to
particular instances; ability to create general ideas or ways of thinking
- Symbols: things that carry a particular meaning, including the components of language,
mathematical notations, and signs; allow us to classify experience and generalize from it
- Cooperation: capacity to create a complex social life by establishing generally accepted
ways of doing things and ideas about what is right and wrong
- Norms: generally accepted ways of doing things
o Folkways: least important norms, evoke the least severe punishment
o Mores: core norms that most people believe are essential for the survival of their
group or their society
o Taboos: among the strongest norms; when someone violates a taboo it causes
revulsion in the community and punishment is severe
- Values: ideas about what is right and wrong
- Production: human capacity to make and use tools; improves our ability to take what we
want from nature
- Material culture: comprises the tools and techniques that enable people to get tasks
accomplished
- Non-material culture: composed of symbols, norms, and other intangible elements
Culture and Biology
Evolution of Human Behaviour:
- First identify a supposedly universal human behavioural trait
- Offer an explanation as to why this behaviour increases survival chances
- Behaviour in question cannot be easily changed
The Problem of Language:
- Is language innate or learned?
- Social roots of language:
o Environment is a powerful influence on language acquisition
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