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Syracuse University
SOC 101

Soc 101 9/19/11 Culture -The shared ways of human social groups -The material objects and nonmaterial creations that are passed from person to person and from generation to generation. -Arises from social interaction within a given society -Material Culture: the physical or tangible creations that members of a society make, use, and share. Represent something about that culture, convey meaning -Nonmaterial Culture: the abstract or intangible human creations of society that influence people’s behavior.  Language  Beliefs  Values  Norms  Family patterns  Political and economic systems -Cultural Universals: customs and practices that occur across all societies.  Appearance (jewelry, tattoos, etc.)  Activities (dancing, games for children vs. adults, sporting, visiting others)  Social institutions (family, political)  Customary practices (celebrations, food cooked, gifts, Specific forms vary across groups and over time Help society function -Components of culture  Symbols: anything that meaningfully represents something else (religious symbols, sports logos, flags, American eagle, bathroom sign, recycling sign)  Language: set of symbols that express ideas and enables people to think and communicate  Values: o Core American Values  Individualism  Achievement and success  Activity and work  Science and technology  Progress and material comfort  Efficiency and practicality  Equality  Morality and humanitarianism  Freedom and liberty  Norms o Formal (written down) versus Informal norms (understood in a given cultural group) o Types of norms  Folkways: no rules written down, no real consequences or repercussions (ex- skipping breakfast, walking on the right side of the hallway)  Mores and taboos: strongly held norms, moral or ethical consequences, taboos = really strongly held mores, extremely
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