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Chapter 3

SOC 1100 Chapter 3: Chapter 3 notes

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University of Guelph
SOC 1100
Deanna Behnke- Cook

Culture: Chapter 3  Chinese wear white at funerals while Canadians wear black Culture: refers to the ways of thinking, the ways of action and the material objects that together form a people’s way of life. It includes our thoughts, and our possessions - It is our link to both the past and our guide to the future Nonmaterial culture: refers to the ideas created by members of a society, ideas that range from the art to the Constitution Material Culture: Refers to the physical things created by members of a society Culture shock: personal disorientation when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life -When travellers find themselves uneasy as they encounter an unfamiliar culture -No way of life is “natural” to humanity. Variations arise in culture when human beings join together to create distinctive ways of life. -A few animals- notably the chimpanzee and related primates- have the capacity for limited culture -In short, “only humans rely on culture rather on instinct to create a way of life and to ensure survival” Culture and Human Intelligence - About 12 million years ago, primates began to evolve along two different lines, setting humans apart from the great apes. - Stone age achievements may seem modest, but they mark the point at which ancestors set off a distinct evolutionary course, making culture their primary strategy for survival. - Homo sapiens developed culture rapidly - About 12,000 yrs ago, the founding of permanent settlements and the creation of specialized occupations (Iraq) marked the “birth of civilization” - Humans no longer lived by biological instincts but by changing the natural environment ro benefit themselves Culture, Nation, State and Society - Nation: commonly used to prefer to a political entity - State: Refers to a people who share a culture, ancestry or country. A state is a political entity a well - Society: refers to the organized interaction of people- within a nation, state, or other boundary How many cultures - The number of languages people are speaking are declining - The reason for this decline are electronic communications, increased migration and an expanding global market The Elements of Culture 1. Symbols: anything that carries a particular meaning recognized by people who share a culture. The human capacity to create and manipulate symbols is reflected in the very different meanings associated with the simple wink of an eye. Culture symbols change over time and make sense of peoples lives. Societies create new symbols all the time 2. Language: They key to the world of culture is a system of symbols that allows people to communicate with one another. Language is the key that unlocks centuries of accumulated wisdom a. Language not only allows communication but also is the key to cultural transmission: the process by which one generation passes culture to next b. Bill 101: regulates the use of English in Quebec and made French the only official language of that province- to many Quebecers, Bill 101 was essential to their survival as a nation c. Language sets humans apart as the only creatures who are self conscious, aware of out limitations and ultimate mortality d. Sapir Whorf Hypothesis: states that people perceive the world through the cultural lens of a language. A single idea often feels different if spoken in a different language 3. Values and Beliefs: Values: culturally defined standards that people use to decide what is desirable, good and beautiful and that serve a broad guideline for living a social life. Values are standards that people who share culture use to make choices about how to live. Values are broad principles that support beliefs: specific statements that people hold to be true a. Values are abstract standards of goodness and beliefs are particular matters that individual consider to be false or true. b. Cultural values and beliefs not only colour how we perceive our surroundings but also the core of our personalities c. The values that are important in higher income countries differ somewhat from those in lower income countries. Societies in lower income nations have cultures that value survival ( they give less priority to safety and economic standards 4. Norms: rules and expectations by which a society guides the behaviour of its members. a. Some norms are proscriptive stating what we should not do. b. Prescriptive norms are what we should do. c. William Summer recognized that some norms are important to our lives than others. Sumner coined the term ores: norms that are widely observed and have great moral significance. People pay less attention to folkways: norms for routine or casual interaction d. Mores and folkways are the basic rules of everyday life. Sanctions operate as a system of social control: attempts by others to regulate peoples thought and behaviours Ideal and Real Culture - Ideal culture: social patterns mandated by cultural values and norms - Real Culture: actual social patterns that only approximate cultural expectations - A society’s artifacts reflect underlying cultural values - In addition to reflecting values, ma
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