Compass Chpt 3

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Mc Kinon

Biology, Freedom, Constraint Sociology Chapter # 3- Culture CULTURE Æ practices, languages, symbols, beliefs, values, ideologies & material objects that people create to deal with real life problems. Cultures enable people to adapt to, and thrive in, their environments. HIGH CULTURE Æ upper class (opera, ballet) POPULAR CULTURE/ MASS CULTURE Æ all classes * Culture= socially transmitted Three tools, human survival: 1) Abstraction Æ ability to create general ideas or ways of thinking that are not linked to particular instances. * Symbols= ideas with particular meanings (incl. math, language) (chair) 2) Cooperation Æ create social life based on values & norms. (familyÆ children) 3) Production Æ Make & use tools to take what we need from nature (food-tech) * Tools- material culture (tangible) & values, norms- non-material culture (intangible) Three types of Norms: 1) Folkway Æ social preferences (least severe punishment) 2) Mores Æ social requirements (core norms) 3) Taboos Æ Causes revulsion in community if broken. Strongest norms (severe punishment) Culture and Biology: The evolution of Human Behaviour ,7ZL3¶89K047\410;4O:9L43Æ 202-078-089,/,590/949K0L703;L7432039³1L99089´OL;0 longer ? offspring (desirable traits passed on) Male Promiscuity, Female Fidelity, and o/ Myths: N Males more likely to want many sexual partners than women (plentiful sperm supply, egg once a month puberty-menopause)= (False!! ) * Survival of the fittest. * Men 2,\M:89-0³/4L3J9K0-0899K0\.,3942,[L2L]09K0L770574/:.9L;01L93088´ Biology, Freedom, Constraint Sociology N 0K,;L4:7574249L3J8:7;L;,O.K,3.0/.,3¶9-0.K,3J0/03.4/0/L3J0308 N Many are critical of this reasoning (evolutionary psychologists) N Some behaviours discussed by evolutionary psychologists are not universal or common (not plausible) N Variations among species Æ environment and genes in a constant interaction along with growth and division of cells during development N Genes never develop without environmental influences (pregnant mothers) o Life not entirely hardwired by genes (depends on life style, enviro etc) The Problem of Language: N Language = communication of thought (cultural invention) N Steven Pinker: Each species has their own language (instinct) o Diverse children brought together, created own form of communication o Language not so much learned as grown. N Specific language impairment (SLI) o Mutation of FOXP2 associated with SLI N When gene is normal, children can acquire complex language skills The Social Roots of Language N Biological potential must be unlocked by the social environment to be fully realized. o If children do not interact symbolically w/ others during critical periods, their language skills remain permanently impaired. o Environment 84L25479,399K,90;03,2:9,90/ ;!J030Z43¶980,O 430¶8OL3J:L89L.1,90 The Sapir-Whorf Thesis and ITS critics: Q: What exactly is the relationship among our use of language, the way we think, and our social environment? N Edward Sapir & Benjamin Lee Whorf Æ experience, thought, language interact in the (Sapir-Whorf thesis) N We experience certain things and form concepts about those things which we express through language ( 1Æ2) (2Æ3) (3Æ1) triangle N Importance of objects in environments= many different names N :47/82,\.K,3J0701O0.9.K,3JL3J70,OL9\«.K,L7507843 Biology, Freedom, Constraint Sociology N Relation b/w language & experience (masculine/ feminine nouns & (-/+ connotations) Culture and Ethnocentrism: A Functionalist Analysis of Culture: ETHNOCENTRISIM: Judging other cultures based on standards of their culture. N Marvin Harris: ethnocentrism misleads many western observers o Cow worshiping in India not bizarre. Performs - economical functions Culture as Freedom: Two faces of culture: Freedom & Constraint Cultural Production and Symbolic Interactionism: N &39LO ¶8Æ .:O9:70L8,³701O0.9L43´4184.L09\/0503/039;,7L,-O0 N Symbolic interactionists Æ culture= independent variable (do not accept culture passively) N We actively produce and interpret culture, attaching meaning to it in accordance with our diverse needs. (can choose how culture influences us) o Cultural studies (overlaps the sociology of culture) Cultural Diversity: N Rising # of immigrants (2006: 19.8%) N Wider range of food, interracial marriages etc N European immigrants = less now compared to Caribbean and Asian places Multiculturalism: N Conflict: educational system (history, culture, society of Canada_ o Written by victors in their perspectives leaving out unjust acts (bias) o Many arguments & debates (experts, educators advocating multiculturalism) N Critics fear multicultural education may be taken too far o Three negative consequences of multiculturalism: ƒ Argument: %L20/0;L,90/1742³:801:O´.4:78082,9K3JOL8K French) ? impedes the success of minorities in the work world. Counter: Actually develops pride and self-esteem which motivate and help students get ahead Biology, Freedom, Constraint Sociology ƒ Argument: Cause political disunity and .,:80L39077,.L,OL390709K3L. conflict.Counter: Conflict = unfortunate but equality b/w majority and minority groups= impt. ƒ Argument: Encourages growth of cultural relativism (all cultures have equal value). Problem: contrasting values and differences in practices ZKL.K5045O0Z4:O/3¶9Z,3994.43147294Argument: Moderate cultural relativism encourages tolerance, and it should be promoted. The Rights Revolution: A conflict Analysis of Culture: N Michael Ignat
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