Eitzen - Ch 4 Notes.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCIOL 1
Professor
Chuck O' Connell
Semester
Winter

Description
Ch 4 - Culture Characteristics of Culture Culture is an Emergent Process - ongoing; built up slowly as members of group interact Culture is Learned Socialization - the process of learning cultural values, norms, and expectations Culture channels human behaviour Internalization - society’s demands become part of the individual and control their behaviour Culture becomes part of human makeup through belief system to which a child’s born Psychological identification with their groups Reference groups - Groups to which one would like to belong and toward which one therefore orients his or her behaviour Culture provides individual with an identity - self and others’perception Culture is a constraint that limits people’s choices. But people don’t see that because they’ve internalized the culture. Culture maintains boundaries Ethnocentrism - deprecation of the ways of people from other societies as wrong, immoral, etc and to think of the ways of one’s own group as superior this leads to division and conflict among subgroups and societies Culture is shaped by and shapes humans Types of shared knowledge Symbols- language Emoticon - sequence of keyboard characters to convey emotions Technology Material technology - how to use and make things. NOT the things themselves Social technology - how to establish, maintain and operate technical aspects of social organization. (university, city, corporation etc.); a set of ideas that explain a range of human behavior and a variety of social and societal events Ideologies - shared beliefs about the physical, social and metaphysical worlds. Help individuals interpret events, provide rationale for certain actions Justify status quo or demand revolution Societal norms - rules on how to act in given situations Ethnomethodology - scientific study of commonplace activities of daily life Assumption: much of social life is scripted to society’s rules Folkways - less important norms not severely punished if violated Mores - norms severely punished if violated Degree of importance and severity of punishment determined by people in power Activities perceived as disruptive to power viewed as illegitimate Norms are situational (duh) and vary from society to society (durrrrrr) Values - criteria used in evaluating objects/acts/feelings/events → desirability/merit/correctness Determine direction of individual and group behaviour Roles Ascribed status - position based on factors beyond individual’s control (age, race, family)1 Achieved status - occupation; position attained through personal effort Social construction of reality - the process by which individuals learn how to define reality from other people in interaction and by learning the culture Lingusitic relativity - language shapes thought Ex: Hopi has no verb tenses, no nouns for times/days/years - think of time as continuous and without breaks Ex: Saliva defined positively and spit defined negatively Cultural relativity - customs of a society should be evaluated by the standards of of its own culture, not our own standards Globalization of culture Cultural diffusion - spread of one society's cultural characteristics to another through trade, conquest, migration, etc. Global culture - diffusion of a single culture throughout the world national boundaries and traditional institutions becoming increasingly obsolete Opposite forces of localism / parochialism at work Barber argues that trivializing/commercialized McDonaldization led to religious/ethnic/nationalistic resurgence/jihad in other parts of the world Growing anti-American sentiments Not just Islamic world but across the globe Science may be rejected in favour of ancient “truths.” Ethnic and religious enclaves reject secular modernity of the West, driven by fundamentalist religion Values - criteria the members of society use to evaluate things for desirability/merit/correctness Social scientists need to be aware of this, try to maintain objective detachment Questions to ask: Toward what do people direct their action? What gives ppl high status? Determine choices people make consistently - ex: how to spend wealth Find out through interviews what people say is good/bad/moral/immoral/etc Sometimes there is a discrepancy with actual behaviour, though Observe reward-punishment system - what is rewarded and what is punished? Examine principles held asAmerican way of life - for what principles
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