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Sociology Exam 3 Book Notes (got 96%)

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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCL 2001
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All

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Sociology Exam 3 Book NotesChapter 3 CultureThe Concept of CultureCulture all that human beings learn to do to use to produce to know and to believe as they grow maturity and live out their lives in the social group to which they belongoBlueprint for living in a particular societyocultured person someone with an interest in the arts literature or musicSuggesting that the individual has a highly developed sense of style or aesthetic appreciation of finer thingsWhen sociologist speak of culture they are referring to the general phenomenon that is characteristic of all human groupsoEvery human is being culturedoAll humans participate in cultureWhether they are Harvard educated and upper class or illiterate and living in a primitive societyoCulture is crucial to human existenceoThey point to a specific culture of a particular groupoIn summary all human groups have a culture but it often varies considerably from one group to the nextoExample Concept of timeWesterners accept this as entirely naturalTime marches on steadily and predictably with past present and future divided into units of precise duration minutes hours days months years and so onIn every social group culture is transmitted from one generation to the nextoUnlike other creatures human beings do not pass on many behavioral patterns through their genesCulture is taught and learned through social interactionChapter 3 9 13 294308 14 16 376386 18Culture and BiologyHuman beings like all other creatures have basic biology needsoWe must eat sleep protect ourselves from the environment reproduce and nurture our young or we not survive as a speciesIn other animals such basic biological needs are met in more or less identical ways by all the members of a species through inherited behavior patterns or instinctsoThese instincts are specific for a given species as well as universal for all members of that speciesoInstinctual behaviors are constant and do not vary significantly from one individual member of the species to anotherExample the web spinning of specific species of spidersHumans behaviors are highly variable and changeable both individually and culturally oIt is through culture that human beings acquire the means to meet their needExample human infant cry when hungry or uncomfortable and the responses to those cries vary from group to group even from person to personBreast feed milk formulas etcSome group breast feed children for as long as five or six years others for no more than ten to twelve monthsIn the United States parents differ in their approaches to feeding and handling their infants but most are influenced by the practices they have observed among members of their families and their social groupCulture ShockEvery group has its own specific culture its own way of seeing doing and making things its own traditionsoSome may be very similar to one anotherCulture Shock the difficulty people have adjusting to a new culture that differs markedly from their ownoSome travelers are unable to adjust easily to foreign culture they might become anxious lose their appetites or even feel sickChapter 3 9 13 294308 14 16 376386 18oExample Jonah Blank experienced culture shock often as he traveled throughout IndiaoCulture shock can also be experienced within a persons own societyEthnocentrism and Cultural RelativismEthnocentrism people often make judgments about other cultures according to the customs and values of their ownoCan lead to prejudice and discrimination and often results in the repression or domination of one group by anotheroImmigrants often encounter hostility when their manners dress eating habits or religious beliefs differ markedly from those of their new neighborsBecause of this hostility and because of their own ethnocentrism immigrants often establish their own communities in their adopted countryTo avoid ethnocentrism in their own research sociologists are guided by the concept of cultural relativismoCultural Relativism the recognition that social groups and cultures must be studied and understood on their own terms before valid comparisons can be madeFrequently is taken to mean that social scientists never should judge the relative merits of any group or culture This is NOT the caseCultural relativism is an approach to performing objective crosscultural researchDoes not require researchers to abdicate their personal standardIn fact good social scientists will take the trouble to spell out exactly what their standards are so that both researchers and readers will be alert to possible bias in their studiesRequires behavior and customs to be viewed and analyzed within the context in which they occurExample being able to have more than one wives in certain countriesAmerican Moshe Rubinstein encountered the contrasting values between American and Arab cultures after a traditional Arabic dinner Rubinstein was presented with a parable by his host AhmedChapter 3 9 13 294308 14 16 376386 18
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