SOCIOL 1000: Culture

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Culture Culture · Culture – The complex system of meaning and behavior that defines the way of life for a given group or society · Culture includes beliefs, values, knowledge, morals, laws, customs, habits, language, dress, etc. · 2 forms of culture: 1. Material Culture § Material Culture – The physical objects that relate specifically to one’s culture ú Ex: Wearing a ball cap isAmerican 2. Non-material Culture § Non-material Culture - Includes our beliefs and value systems, along with the way we do things § 5 main elements of non-material culture: 1. Beliefs · Beliefs - Shared ideas that a group or society holds about what is true · Beliefs can be rooted in tradition, religion, experience, or science o Ex: The belief that you can take an ibuprofen to cure a headache as opposed to other cultures maybe thinking some sort of tea would be better o Ex:Anyone can grow up to become the President of the United States o Ex:Athletic talent is the product of hard work, lots of practice, and persistence 2. Values · Values -Abstract standards in a society that define ideal principles · They define what is desirable and morally correct o Ex: Freedom; happiness; true friendship; cleanliness; obedience; etc. 3. Norms (Social Norms) · Social Norms – Rules set by society to regulate human behavior and social relations · Norms are passed on from generation to generation, becoming embedded in our language, ideas, and beliefs · Agreed upon by a majority of group members · Usually difficult to change or alter · Shape the way we live and act in everyday life · Vary across cultures and time o Ex: The norm several years ago for women was to wear long skirts, and now it’s shorts and dresses · Amechanism for social control · 3 types of norms: 1. Folkways § Folkways – Simple everyday norms based on custom, tradition, or etiquette § Include standards of dress, demeanor, physical closeness to or distance from others, eating behavior, etc. § Aviolation of a folkway is considered a minor offense, oftentimes receiving a look of disapproval from others ú Ex: How you dress, or wearing clothes in general; eating with your spoon, fork, or knife; how close you are to someone when interacting with them 2. Mores § Mores – Norms based on broad societal morals whose infraction generate more serious consequences than folkways § Aviolation of mores is seen as a threat to the social order ú Ex: Homosexuality; illegitimate childbearing; drug addiction; poverty 3. Laws § Laws – Norms supported by codified social (legal) sanctions § Laws are often derived from folkways and mores, while other laws are seen as necessary for social order ú Ex: Drug laws; laws against prostitution; laws against drinking and driving, or driving on t
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