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Chapter 3

Chapter note from Sociology in Our Times 5th Canadian Edition: Chapter 3

13 Pages
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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 103
Professor
Sal Guzzo

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Chapter 3: Culture
Culture and Society in a Changing World
Society becomes more diverse, need to appreciate diversity and to understand how
people in other cultures view their world
Culture and Society
The Importance of Culture
Culture is essential for our individual survival and for our communication with other
people
Rely on culture because we are not born with the information we need to survive
Learn about culture through interaction, observation, and imitation
Culture: the common denominator that makes the actions of individuals intelligible
to the group
Rule making and enforcing necessarily exists in all societies
Need rules about civility and tolerance
Instinct: unlearned, biologically determined behaviour pattern common to all
members of a species that predictably occurs whenever certain environmental
conditions exist
Humans do not have instincts
Reflex: an unlearned biologically determined involuntary response to a physical
stimulus
Drives: unlearned, biologically determined impulses common to all members of a
species that satisfy needs such as sleep food, water
Tool kit for survival, includes symbols, stories, rituals, and world views, make
choices among the items in our own toolbox
Material and Nonmaterial Culture
Material: culture consists of the physical or tangible creations that members of a
society make, use and share
www.notesolution.com
Begin as raw materials, through tech, transformed into usable items
Technology: knowledge, techniques and tools that make it possible for people to
transform resources into usable forms, and the knowledge and skills required to use
them after they develop
Tech both concrete and abstract
Non-material culture: Consists of the abstract or intangible human creations of
society that influence peoples behaviour
Eg. Language, beliefs, values, family patterns
Beliefs: the mental acceptance or conviction that certain things are true or real
Eg. Based on tradition, faith, experience, scientific research
Cultural Universals
Cultural Universals: customs and practices that occur across all societies
Cateogories
oAppearance (bodily adornment and hairstyle)
oActivities (sports, dancing, games, joking, and visiting)
oSocial institutions (such as family, law, and religion)
oCustomary practices (such as cooking, folklore, gift giving and hosipitality)
Cultural universals are useful because they ensure the smooth and continual
operation of society
The self interest of individuals must be balanced iwht the needs of society as a whole
Another perspective, cultural univerals are not the result of cfunctional necessity;
these parcices may have been imposed by members of one society on members of
another
Who determines dominant cultural patterns?
Components of Culture
www.notesolution.com
Symbols
Language
Values
Norms
Symbols
Symbol: is anything that meaningfully represents something else
Culture could not exist without symbols, no shared meanings among people
Help communicate ideas
Emoticons: new system of symbols used to express emoticons when people are
communicating on their computers via chat lines
Symbols affect thoughts on class (eg how dressed, care drives)
Language
Language: is a set of symbols that expresses ideas and enables people to think and
communicate with one another
Verbal (spoken), nonverbal (written or gestured)
Allows people to distinguish themselves from outsiders and maintain group
boundaries and solidarity
Nonhuman animals can communicate, but cannot transmit the more complex
aspects of culture to their offspring
Humans have unique ability to manipulate symbols to express abstract concepts and
rules
Transmit cultures from one generation to the next
Language and Social Reality
Language creates or simply communicates reality?
Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: language shapes the view of reality of its speakers
People only able to think through language, language must precede thought
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Chapter 3: Culture Culture and Society in a Changing World Society becomes more diverse, need to appreciate diversity and to understand how people in other cultures view their world Culture and Society The Importance of Culture Culture is essential for our individual survival and for our communication with other people Rely on culture because we are not born with the information we need to survive Learn about culture through interaction, observation, and imitation Culture: the common denominator that makes the actions of individuals intelligible to the group Rule making and enforcing necessarily exists in all societies Need rules about civility and tolerance Instinct: unlearned, biologically determined behaviour pattern common to all members of a species that predictably occurs whenever certain environmental conditions exist Humans do not have instincts Reflex: an unlearned biologically determined involuntary response to a physical stimulus Drives: unlearned, biologically determined impulses common to all members of a species that satisfy needs such as sleep food, water Tool kit for survival, includes symbols, stories, rituals, and world views, make choices among the items in our own toolbox Material and Nonmaterial Culture Material: culture consists of the physical or tangible creations that members of a society make, use and share www.notesolution.com Begin as raw materials, through tech, transformed into usable items Technology: knowledge, techniques and tools that make it possible for people to transform resources into usable forms, and the knowledge and skills required to use them after they develop Tech both concrete and abstract Non-material culture: Consists of the abstract or intangible human creations of society that influence peoples behaviour Eg. Language, beliefs, values, family patterns Beliefs: the mental acceptance or conviction that certain things are true or real Eg. Based on tradition, faith, experience, scientific research Cultural Universals Cultural Universals: customs and practices that occur across all societies Cateogories o Appearance (bodily adornment and hairstyle) o Activities (sports, dancing, games, joking, and visiting) o Social institutions (such as family, law, and religion) o Customary practices (such as cooking, folklore, gift giving and hosipitality) Cultural universals are useful because they ensure the smooth and continual operation of society The self interest of individuals must be balanced iwht the needs of society as a whole Another perspective, cultural univerals are not the result of cfunctional necessity; these parcices may have been imposed by members of one society on members of another Who determines dominant cultural patterns? Components of Culture www.notesolution.com Symbols Language Values Norms Symbols Symbol: is anything that meaningfully represents something else Culture could not exist without symbols, no shared meanings among people Help communicate ideas Emoticons: new system of symbols used to express emoticons when people are communicating on their computers via chat lines Symbols affect thoughts on class (eg how dressed, care drives) Language Language: is a set of symbols that expresses ideas and enables people to think and communicate with one another Verbal (spoken), nonverbal (written or gestured) Allows people to distinguish themselves from outsiders and maintain group boundaries and solidarity Nonhuman animals can communicate, but cannot transmit the more complex aspects of culture to their offspring Humans have unique ability to manipulate symbols to express abstract concepts and rules Transmit cultures from one generation to the next Language and Social Reality Language creates or simply communicates reality? Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: language shapes the view of reality of its speakers People only able to think through language, language must precede thought www.notesolution.com
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