Textbook Notes (368,795)
Canada (162,165)
Sociology (1,513)
SOC103H1 (103)
Teppermann (13)
Chapter 4

Chapter 4.doc

12 Pages
84 Views
Unlock Document

Department
Sociology
Course
SOC103H1
Professor
Teppermann
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 4 Culture Chapter Summary Culture is fundamentally human. It encompasses all of the objects, artifacts, institutions, organizations, ideas, and beliefs that make up the social environment of human life. Culture consists of both material and non-material elements and serves as a group’s memory, transmitted from one generation to the next, thus ensuring the group’s continuity. All societies have values and norms; these are the ‘glue’ that hold society together. There are three kinds of norms: folkways, mores, and taboos. These vary in terms of importance and the extent to which they are enforced. While functionalist theorists emphasize that culture can be a stabilizing force in society, promoting group cohesiveness, critical sociologists have noted this apparent stability actually reflects the perspective of the dominant group and maintains the status quo; however, Max Weber makes a compelling argument that a change in one cultural element (e.g., religion) can have a powerful effect on another cultural element (e.g., the economy). More recently, Pierre Bourdieu notes that culture can act as a divisive force. According to Bourdieu, those who possess what he calls ‘cultural capital’ are more likely to advance socially and economically than those who possess little cultural capital. Cultural capital is not evenly distributed throughout the class structure, and those who start out with more end up with more— and the class structure reproduces itself from generation to generation. Symbolic interactionists, who view society through a microsociological lens, point out that culture is dynamic, arising out of people’s interaction and exchange of symbols. While functionalist and critical theorists are more likely to view the individual as being passively shaped by culture, symbolic interactionists take a more interactive view, pointing out that as much as people are influenced by culture, they influence culture in return. Learning Objectives In this chapter, you will • interpret culture as a symbolic environment in which humans live; • connect micro and macro aspects of culture in several ways; and, • consider the significance of cultural differences in our society and around the world. Key Terms cultural integration: The process whereby parts of a culture (for example, ideal culture and real culture) come to fit together and complement one another. 2 cultural capital: A body of knowledge and interpersonal skills that helps people to get ahead socially, which often includes learning about and participating in high culture. culture: Our uniquely human environment. It includes all of the objects, artifacts, institutions, organizations, ideas, and beliefs that make up the social environment of human life. ethnocentrism: The tendency to use one’s own culture as a basis for evaluating other cultures. folkways: Norms based on popular habits and traditions, and ordinary usages and conventions of everyday life. high culture: The set of preferences, tastes, and norms that are characteristic of, or supported by, high status groups, including fine arts, classical music, ballet, and other ‘highbrow’ concerns. ideal culture: That aspect of culture that lives only in people’s minds. It is the set of values people claim to believe in, profess openly, hold up for worship and adoration, and in day-to-day life pay ‘lip service’ to. material culture: The physical and technological aspects of people’s lives, including all the physical objects that members of a culture create and use. mores: Norms that carry moral significance. People believe that mores contribute to the general welfare and continuity of the group. non-material culture: People’s values, beliefs, philosophies, conventions, and ideologies; in short, all the aspects of a culture that do not have a physical existence. norms: The rules or expectations that serve as common guidelines for behaviour in daily life, telling us what kinds of behaviour are appropriate or inappropriate in specific social situations. organizational culture: The way an organization has learned to deal with its environment; it includes norms and values that are subculturally distinct to the organization. popular (or mass) culture: The culture of ordinary people. It includes those objects, preferences, and tastes that are widespread in a society. signs: Gestures, artifacts, or words that express or meaningfully represent something other than themselves. symbol: A sign whose relationship with something else also expresses a value or evokes an emotion. taboos: Powerful social beliefs that a particular act, food, place, etc. is totally repulsive and dangerous. Violation of the taboo is supposed to result in immediate punishment. 3 values: Socially shared conceptions of what a group or society considers good, right, and desirable. counterculture: A subculture that rejects conventional norms and values and adopts alternative ones. subculture: A group that shares the cultural elements of the larger society but which also has its own distinctive values, beliefs, norms, style of dress, and behaviour patterns. cultural literacy: A solid knowledge of the traditional culture, which contains the building blocks of all communication and learning. real culture: The ways people dress, talk, act, relate, and think in everyday life, as distinct from their idealized or proclaimed culture. RECOMMENDED READINGS Alexander, V. D. (2003). Sociology of the Arts: Exploring Fine and Popular Forms. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. This is a comprehensive and sophisticated overview of the sociology of art, outlining the theoretical perspectives and both classic and current research on art, music, literature, and popular culture. McRobbie, A. (2009). The Aftermath of Feminism: Gender, Culture, and Social Change. Los Angeles: Sage. This book provides an intersection of feminism and culture, laying out a theory of gender power used to analyze social and cultural phenomena in women’s lives today. Burke, J. (1995). The Day the Universe Changed. Boston, MA: Little, Brown. This account of the key changes in the cultural history of the world is based on a PBS television series and focuses on the issue of a global culture. Spillman, L. (ed.) (2002). Cultural Sociology. Malden, MA: Blackwell. This is an engaging overview of several empirical studies and theoretical works in the sociology of culture. It is a good foundation for someone interested in exploring and learning about the field in greater depth. Lieberson, S. (2000). A Matter of Taste: How Names, Fashions, and Culture Change. New Haven, CT/London: Yale University Press. 4 This is a highly interesting study of how cultural taste and fashion change over time. Presented in a clear and scholarly manner, it explores how cultural patterns shape the names chosen by parents for their children for the past two centuries. Berger, J. (1980). Ways of Seeing: Based on the BBC Television Series. London: British Broadcasting Corporation and Penguin Books. As the subtitle suggests, this book is based on a 1970s BBC television series about how we view paintings. Although some do not approve of Berger’s arguments, the work was seminal in shaping the view of postmodern art. Recommended Websites Canadian Heritage www.canadianheritage.gc.ca Culture Web www.ibiblio.org/culture National Film Board of Canada (nfb) www.nfb.ca Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (cbc) http://www.cbc.ca United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (unesco) www.unesco.org Ontario Ministry of Culture www.culture.gov.on.ca/english/index.html Canadian Culture www.canadianculture.com Baby Name Wizard www.babynamewizard.com Multiple Choice Questions 1. Sociologists define all of the objects, artifacts, institutions organizations, ideas, and beliefs that make up the social environment of human life as a) material culture. b) culture. 5 c) cultural integration. d) non-material culture. 2. __________ are socially shared conceptions of what a group or society considers good, right, and desirable. a) Values b) Laws c) Norms d) Expectations 3. Bodily adornment, gift giving, and funeral ceremonies are examples of a) cultural mandates. b) cultural attributes. c) cultural levelling. d) cultural universals. 4. The __________ views culture as having an integrative role in society. a) symbolic interactionist perspective b) functionalist perspective c) cultural studies perspective d) production of culture perspective 5. The rules or expectations that serve as common guidelines for behaviour in daily life, telling us which kinds of behaviour are appropriate or inappropriate in specific social situations are known as a) customs. b) laws. c) norms. d) expectations. 6. __________ are norms based on popular habits and traditions, and ordinary usages and conventions of everyday life. a) Folkways b) Values c) Mores d) Taboos 6 7. Norms that carry moral significance are known as a) duties. b) folkways. c) mores. d) taboos. 8. Violation of __________ result in immediate punishment. a) taboos b) laws c) values d) all of the above 9. According to Karl Marx, a) culture and ideas shape society and the beliefs and decisions of its members. b) only the bourgeoisie shape culture. c) material relationships between members of society shape culture. d) conspicuous consumption promotes capitalist ideals. 10. The cultural studies perspective merges sociology with a) media studies. b) economics. c) social geography. d) literary scholarship. 11. Sociologists refer to the physical and technolog
More Less

Related notes for SOC103H1

Log In


OR

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


OR

By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.


Submit