SOCI 2510 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Ethnocentrism

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Chapter 3: Culture
Class Notes:
Culture: symbolic as well as material contents such as values, norms, beliefs, behaviours, etc = a
society's way of life
Culture is a great way to explain behaviour in sociology
Culture: ethnicity, class, gender, religion (category of people)
Stratification: breaking down into class: high, middle, low, lowest = inequality
inequality= good, helps people try to improve the society
First Nations people were treated the worst
Countries are stratified by rankings, e.g Norway being the best, and Nijang, being the lowest
Feminism – some focus on socialization, some focus on gender inequality (trying to change the
status of men and women) - changing gender socialization
Some feminists - trying to change the structure of society – people for the same jobs get paid the
same regardless of gender (Carol Smart)
Society is diff from culture
Society: organized interaction by persons within a geographically or political area guided by a
culture that establishes boundaries between one society and another
No culture = no society
Society: organized stable interaction between people
children raised in isolation from family and adults cannot feel, think, like normal humans
interaction would be difficult if languages differ, there would be misunderstandings
French Canadians, Hell's Angels, First Nations, but the ALL share a national culture – respecting
laws, respecting diversity
it's important not to generalize individuals in a particular ethnic group (beliefs, values, etc) – this
is stereotyping
Bountiful B.C – bigamy is acceptable according to counts – but illegal everywhere else in Canada
Ethnocentrism – we think our culture is better than those of others
Each culture has diff laws – e.g beating children is right in one culture, but against the law in our
culture in Canada
Hell's Angels represent a subculture – share a Canadian culture – high value based on money
Share mainstream culture but differentiate it based on their norms and cultures
5 personality dimensions (CANOE) (OCEAN)
Openness - appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, curiosity, and variety of
Conscientiousness - a tendency to show self-discipline, act dutifully, and aim for achievement;
planned rather than spontaneous behavior.
Extraversion - energy, positive emotions, urgency, and the tendency to seek stimulation in the
company of others.
Agreeableness - a tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and
antagonistic towards others.
Neuroticism - a tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily, such as anger, anxiety,
depression, or vulnerability; sometimes called emotional instability.
Immigration – melting pot (e.g in the US) – give into the American Identity
Immigration- Cultural Mosaic, mulitculturism (e.g in Canada) – you can blossom into however
you want, do not have to give into the new culture
there are still hierarchies for cultures, natives are on the bottom, other cultures are higher than
Cultures make boundaries between our groups and other groups
Cultural lag - It suggests that there is a gap between the technical development of a society and its
moral and legal institutions. The failure of the latter to keep pace with the former is said, in
certain societies, to explain (at least some) social conflict and problems.
Norms- where sanctions are made to avoid deviance
Technology – can help determine a culture and society
subcultures- differentiate themselves from the mainstream of cultures that they share
double standard – putting one group in a disadvantage
promiscuity- men make up the rules/culture – patriarchy – ruled by fathers/male partners:
1)difference 2) men are higher than women 3) norms
it would be stereotypical to say that every man supports it and agrees with it\
Most things are all based on something and gender e.g disease and gender (HAS to talk about
sex, which is gender)
Reproductive fitness – survival of children when giving birth
women need a man who is protective and a breadwinner
questions are all asked in interviews such as reproductive capacity, pregnancy, for interviewing
those who can relate to suicide
Clifford – talks about culture to a class and gave an example of winking and blinking - talks
about the cultural weight carried by a wink and a blink
blink – could be physiological
wink- sending a message, there is a reason to it
if you understand the wink, you understand a lot about a culture
humour is inclusive if we all find it funny
if not, then it is exclusive, other people might not understand it
disengagement- you are isolating yourself and the relationship is not there
culture is allied to variability – different cultures but it is important to remember that there are
culture universals – sexual reproduction is regulated. Thus norms and sanctions are created
When you die, you can either get burned (Indian culture), burried, etc. Each culture has a different
way of handling deaths
humour, sexual reproduction, way people die is universal – but the way we do it differentiates one
cultural to another
Cultural conflicts are sometimes just interest conflicts (diamonds, water, etc)
Technology and values and norms are globally distributed
cultures change because of inventions, diffusion, conflict (class conflict creates mass culture
Textbook Notes:
Culture- refers to the values, beliefs, behaviours, and material objects taht together form a
people's way of life
Nonmaterial culture- is the ideas created by members of a society, ideas that range from art to Zen
Material culture- in contrast, refers to the physical things created by members of a society
Cultural shock – personal disorientation when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life