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Ch 3 culture.docx

4 Pages

Course Code
SOC 1100
Linda Gerber

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Ch 3: Culture  Refers to a way of life, which includes what people do and have (such as forms of dance, clothing)  Ways of thinking, acting and material objects that shape peoples way of life  Everything that humans produce with their hands  It also includes what’s on the inside, such as thoughts and feelings  Culture is a human trait (species display a limited capacity for culture, human being rely on culture to survive  Culture replaced out biological instincts as our primary strategy for survival  Without culture you wouldn’t have a society  Similar to papier-mâché, you can mold it any which way you want its going to be held by the paste (culture/society) Ex. Chinese war white to funeral, while Canadians wear black  Chinese think the number 4 is unlucky, while Canadians think number 13 Nonmaterial culture: the ideas formed by members of a society (ex. art, language) Material culture: the physical things created by members of a society (ex. wheels, clothing, satellites in space, technology) Culture shock: personal discomfort when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life (travelling and visiting a new country)  More than 200 different cultures exist in Canada and in north America alone  Worldwide, there are roughly 7000 different cultures The elements of culture Symbols  Culture relies on symbols in the form of words, gestures, and actions to express meaning  Different meanings can be associated with the same symbol (ex. wink of an eye)  Humans create and manipulate symbols  Societies create new symbols all the time (ex. new computer technology has sparked new cyber symbols Language  Language is the symbolic system by which people in a culture communicate with one another  People use language – both spoken and written – to transmit culture from one generation to the next  Every culture is different, each language has words or expressions not found in any other language (we see the world through the cultural lens of language)  Cultural transmission: the process by which one generation passes culture to the next Values  Abstract standards of what ought to be (ex. equality of opportunity)  Values can sometimes be in conflict with one another  Lower-income countries have cultures that value survival; higher income countries have cultures
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