CULTURE IS A SOCIAL FORCE © Dr. Francis Adu-Febiri, 2015 Contents of the Presentation Introduction: The centrality of culture Culture: Experiencing the “Other” Explaining FGM/FGC Major concepts of Culture Culture web Core dimensions of Culture Cultural universals, uniformity & diversity Theoretical Perspectives of culture: Sociobiology versus Sociology Sociological Paradigms of culture: Functionalism, Social Conflict, Interactionism, and Feminism Introduction: The centrality of culture Does culture adequately account for the immense similarities and differences in the ways people feel, think, live and behave? Introduction: The centrality of culture Our private troubles [and our day to day behaviours, feelings and thinking] are motivated by the culture characterizing the social relationships in which we find ourselves (Russell Westhaver 2013, p. 134). Introduction: The centrality of culture Our very existence and understanding of ourselves is a product of our culture, we cannot and do not exist outside of culture. (Bartle 2004: Page 59). Culture is exterior, interior and anterior to people in social groups (Emile Durkheim). CULTURE: Experiencing ‘THE OTHER’ In Kenya, a group of Canadian students fall in love with the beauty of Africa and Africans. The young Canadian women do their hair in a thousand tiny braids and the men buy rungu fighting clubs and Samburu spears in a celebration of things African. Then, their fieldschool professor informs them about clitoridectomy. Every dignified, graceful woman walking along the road in spotlessly clean , red khanga dresses has been sexually mutilated as a teenager, usually on the evening before joining her husband in his village…walking many miles across the desert with fresh wounds (Roberts, Thakur and Tunnell, eds., 1999: 1). CULTURE: Experiencing ‘THE OTHER’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kNMC 65pNsg WHY DO PEOPLE PRACTISE FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION/CUTTING? WHY DO PEOPLE PRACTICE FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION/CUTTING? Sociological Answer: Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or Female Genital Cutting (FGC) is the product of social interaction in the context of the patriarchal culture of non-industrial societies. WHY DO PEOPLE PRACTISE FGM or FGC? Sociological Paradigms Homeostasis: FGC is a cultural practice that persists because it contributes to homeostasis of the social structure Social Class Inequality: Females are victims of FGC because women are part of lower social class in a nonindustrial political economy Patriarchy: Positive FGC is a definitions of weapon to FGC by keep girls people and women offering the under the practice and control or those power of undergoing it males Human Agency: CULTURE: Experiencing the “Other”: RESPONSES TO FGM/FGC The following day, the fun is gone for the Canadian students. The hair styles change and the rungus get stowed beneath the seats. Faces become strained. A student complains to the professor, “I’m not having fun any more.” Several request that the field trip be called off, “Let’s take our losses and leave this place.” Others become mysteriously sick. The professor is blamed for indicating his high respect for the Samburu in lectures before the trip. Some students are angry and others will not talk. They are hot, afraid of malaria and cattle raids, and suffering from stomach upset. What are these students experiencing? “Culture shock.” Why did these Canadian students experience culture shock? CULTURE: Experiencing the “Other”: WHY CULTURE SHOCK? Cultural Diversity (Obvious/Superficial answer) Cultural differences often result in travelers’ feeling a sense of ‘culture shock’ only because they rank order these differences, making their own cultures the standard. Ethnocentrism (Unobvious/deep answer) Eurocentrism and Westernocentrism: Are particular kinds of Ethnocentrism CULTURE: Experiencing the “Other”: AVOIDING CULTURE SHOCK 1. Cultural Relativism All cultures are equally developed according to their own priorities and values; none is better, more advanced than any other. 2. Xenocentrism. Definitions: the preference for the products, styles, or ideas of someone else's culture rather than of one's own (en.wikipedia.org/wiki ) The tendency to assume that aspects of other cultures are superior to one's own. (www.webref.org/sociology). MAJOR CONCEPTS OF CULTURE: Culture Shock Ethnocentrism Cultural Relativism Xenocentrism Culture: Material and Non-material Culture Web Values and Beliefs Norms: Folkways, Mores, Taboos, Sanctions Cultural universals and Cultural uniformity Cultural Diversity and Multiculturalism Mainstream Culture, Subculture and Counterculture High Culture and Popular Culture Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis of language CULTURE WEB What qualifies as culture? The total package of material culture and non-material culture: Material Culture: the physical aspects of our daily lives, including food, houses, factories, raw materials and technology. Nonmaterial Culture: Values, beliefs, ideas, customs, symbols (including language), expressions, knowledge, philosophies, governments, patterns of communication, and ways of using material objects. Cultural Lag: The change gap between material culture and non-material culture CULTURAL WEB: Connections Between Material Culture & Nonmaterial Culture CULTURAL WEB: Connections Between Material Culture & Nonmaterial Culture Emotions & Rituals Decorations Ideas & knowledge VALUES & BELIEFS Food Technology & Infrastructure Norms Customs/ Traditions Symbols & Entertainment IDEALIST (NONMATERIAL) PERSPECTIVE OF CULTURE (Malinowski’s Theory) Y Technology X Y Artifacts & Tools X VALUES, BELIEFS, IDEAS, NORMS & RITUALS X Food & Clothes Y X Y Infrastructure MATERIALIST PERSPECTIVE OF CULTURE (Harris’ Theory) Y Y Values Beliefs & Rituals x TECHNOLOGY INFRASTRUCTURE FOOD & CLOTHING ART & CRAFT x Ideas & Norms Y x QUIZ 10a Mark Tonto, a Camosun Anthropology Student thinks that the realm of the “ideal, the spiritual, emotional and the moral” (as opposed to the “material, technological, and the social-structural”) is the only way culture exists in human society. Is Mr. Tonto’s definition of culture sociologically correct? a) b) c) d) YES NO Both Yes and No None of the above CORE DIMENSIONS OF CULTURE VALUES:--Ideologies used to judge. This is a structure of ideas that people have about good and bad, about beautiful and ugly, and about right and wrong, which are the justifications that people cite to explain their actions (Bartle 2004:56). “What makes a Woman Beautiful?” (See page 135 of the required textbook). CANADIAN CULTURAL VALUES See pages 128-131 of Textbook. According to functionalism, a society’s cultural values determine the NORMS the society constructs to produce stability and cohesion through social control. HIERARCHY OF NORMS Most Important Norms TABOOS MORES FOLKWAYS Very Important Norms Least Important Norms CORE DIMENSIONS OF CULTURE NORMS: Socially defined rules of behavior: A) Taboos: Most important rules of behavior—even the thought of violating them upsets people. E.G.? B) Mores: Very important rules of behavior—violations invoke punishment. E.G.? C) Folkways: Less important rules of behavior—violations are not taken seriously. E.g. a) belching in front of others?; b) Eating cereal for dinner and hot pizza for breakfast?. A Video Clip on Norms https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JJFBt HcBnM CULTURAL UNIVERSALS Elements of culture that all societies have in common: Values Beliefs Symbols Norms Institutions Technology CULTURAL UNIVERSALS Specifics examples of cultural universals: Sports, cooking, marriage ceremonies, funeral ceremonies, sexual restrictions, medicine, and language (verbal and nonverbal). CULTURAL UNIFORMITY OR MONOCULTURALISM Similarity in the expression of cultural universals. CLOBAL CULTURE? Example: Similar forms of clothing, pop music, consumer goods and services, language (English/Spanish/French) and consumer values found in Seoul, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Madras, Paris, New York, Cairo, Lagos, Accra, Nairobi, Toronto, Moscow, Tokyo, Singapore, Camberra, Bonies Aires, Mexico City, Kingston, London, etc. CULTURAL DIVERSITY Variations in the expression of cultural universals across space and time: E.G.? VARIATIONS IN LANGUAGE: Did You Know….that 1) there are approximately 7000 languages spoken in the world today? 2) Lakota is a gendered language in which women and men speak slightly different dialects? 3) According to the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis (see p.123-125), the language a person uses shapes his or her perception of reality and therefore his or her thoughts and actions? CULTURAL DIVERSITY VARIATIONS IN CULTURES: (Pages 131134 of Textbook) 1. Value Orientations: High Secular-Rational and High Self-Expressive Values (INDIVIDUALISM) Low Secular-Rational and Low Self-Expressive Values (COLLECTIVISM) 2. Emphasis on Human Development: Human Choice (INDIVIDUALISM) Human Constraint (COLLECTIVISM) INDIVIDUALISM COLLECTIVISM Source: Pacific Resources Education Programs, Inc. Independence Dependence •I’m an individual, unique and special in my own right •My heroes are those who can claim to be “self-made”. •My Competition Cooperation •Competition brings out the best in me. •Competition acts as a motivator to stimulate me to excel. •We Directness Indirectness or Saving Face •To be assertive and sometimes even aggressive is positive. •Don’t beat around the bush. •One Time and Task as Priority Interaction as Priority •Agendas, •Courtesy, timetables, and promptness help me to diligently utilize time •Time is an invaluable resource not to be wasted identity, well-being, survival and self-esteem are derived from being a member of the group. •I avoid individual recognition or attention. are only as strong as our weakest link. •Achievement and success are dependent on how well we are able to cooperate is careful not to embarrass or cause dishonor to another. •Loss of face has deep meaning and impact on self-esteem respect, and sensitivity are key to my interactions with others. •Getting to know one another has a certain formality to it and can take time IDEAL CULTURE: DIVERSITY AS EQUAL CULTURES: “Horizontal Mosaic” SOCIETY “High” Culture Ideal culture MAINSTREAN CULTURE Popular Culture Real culture Ideal “High” SUBCULTURE Real “High” Ideal SUB-CULTURES COUNTER-CULTURES Popular Real Popular REAL CULTURE: CULTURAL DIVERSITY AS INEQUALITY OF CULTURES: “Vertical Mosaic” High MAINSTREAM CULTURE The Dominant Culture SUBCULTURE Accepts the dominant culture Low COUNTERCULTURE Lower Special subculture that rejects the dominant culture POLITICS OR IDEOLOGY OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY: MULTICULTURALISM Ideal Culture = cultural aspirations Real Culture = cultural practices Illustration: The IDEAL CULTURE of societies such as Canada, Australia and Singapore. seeks to promote the maintenance of the cultures of immigrants and indigenous people as horizontal mosaic or cultural equality to mainstream culture. The REAL CULTURE of Canada: Consists of cultural practices that constitute a vertical mosaic or cultural inequality : Discrimination against people that practice or perceived to be members of non-mainstream cultures. QUIZ 10b Research findings suggest that Canadian society claims to cherish/value multiculturalism as a horizontal mosaic. However, cultural exclusion is widespread in Canadian institutions and communities. Multiculturalism is therefore………culture in the social structure of Canada. A) a real B) an ideal C) a counter D) a popular E) a cultural lag MAINSTREAM CULTURE Dominant expressions of cultural universals --values, beliefs, attitudes, symbols, artifacts, norms, expectations, technology, infrastructure, etc. Examples: The WASP culture of Canada. Popular cultures of every society. SUB-CULTURE A world within the mainstream culture, with distinctive expression pattern of traditions, customs, beliefs, rituals, folkways, language, but remains compatible with the dominant values, expectations, norms, etc. Examples: The cultures of minority ethnic groups in Canada, cabdrivers, the police, the army, prostitutes, thieves, etc., High culture of every society –E.G., Polo, Golf, Ball Room Dance, Classical Music, etc. COUNTER-CULTURE A Special form of subculture Cultures of groups whose values set their members apart and in opposition to certain aspects of the mainstream culture. They challenge some core values of the mainstream culture. Often the members of the mainstream culture feel threatened by counter culture. Example: Cultures of Hell’s Angels, the Mafia, Gangs, terrorist groups. DIVERSITY: CULTURAL CONFLICT & CULTURAL HEGEMONY The existence of mainstream culture, subcultures, and countercultures on the same territory or space is the basis of culture conflict and cultural hegemony. 1. Cultural Hegemony: domination of a cultural group by another 2. Culture Conflict: Incompatible values, beliefs and practices: CULTURAL STATIC & CHANGE Cultural Static: Persistence of cultural systems and/or practices: E,g.: Traditions and customs Culture Change: Transformation of cultural elements and/or practices through discovery, invention/innovation, and diffusion: E,g.: Changes in the economy, beliefs, and technology. Cultural lag: represents uneven change in the cultural elements—changes in the elements of the cultural system at different times and speeds—material culture changing faster than non-material culture. In other words, a change gap between material culture and non-material culture. THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES OF CULTURE: Sociobiology vs. Sociology SOCIOBIOLOGY: Biological factors determine human social behavior Cultural patterns are a product of biological factors to a significant degree. This is evident in the existence of CULTURAL UNIVERSALS such as marriage and language SOCIOLOGY: Culture is socially constructed and transmitted, not DNA based. Sociological CRITICISMS of Sociobiology: 1. Lack of scientific proof of DNA producing culture, but there is empirical evidence showing that culture is not a product of DNA: The Victor Story. 2. Culture is the product of human interaction with each other, the environment, the social structure. 3. supports racism, ethnocentrism, classicism, xenocentrism, and sexism QUIZ 11 When a wife and husband argue about who’ll clean the bathroom, for example, or who’ll take care of a sick child when they both work outside the home, the issue is simply about a cultural universal reflective of biological reproductive factors. What theoretical perspective would agree with this view about gender relations? A) Sociobiology B) Social Conflict C) Feminism D) Symbolic Interactionism Does culture adequately account for the immense similarities and differences in the ways people feel, think, live and behave? SOCIOLOGICAL PARADIGMS OF CULTURE Functionalism—YES: HOMEOSTASIS: CULTURAL CONSENSUS & ADAPTATIONS Social Conflict—NO: POLITICAL ECONOMY: SOCIAL CLASS & SOCIAL CLOSURE Interactionism—NO: HUMAN AGENCY: DEFINITION OF CULTURAL SYMBOLS Feminism—NO: PATRIACHAL STRUCTURE & IDEOLOGY SOCIOLOGICAL PARADIGMS OF CULTURE FUNCTIONALIST PARADIGM: HOMEOSTASIS Culture is produced by the social structure to meet the homeostasis (social stability) needs of society. Cultural universals, uniformities and diversities develop and persist because they are functional -contribute to cultural consensus and adaptations that help maintain homeostasis that is of collective benefit. Any cultural practices that are dysfunctional--don’t contribute to collective benefit--are eliminated. Values, beliefs and ideas components of culture dictate/control the material elements of culture and the behavior of all individual members and groups of society FUNCTIONALIST CLAIMS 1. Culture is a symbolic-material system as well as practices that determine peoples’ reality and define their personalities and ways of life. 2. Culture is the key to what humans become. It is our culture that superimposes the specifics of what we become on our biological inheritance. It is culture that distinguishes humans from animals 3. Babies do not ‘naturally’ develop into human adults. Human interaction is necessary to acquire the normal human traits. 4. The individual ‘self’ (‘I’/’Me’) is culturally constructed. That is, our active creative parts, thoughts, dreams, and attitudes are the products of our interaction with culture. 5. Culture inhabits every aspects of our lives. Culture is the vehicle for our lives, but is not a prison, for there is no outside: culture is anterior, interior and exterior to us. 6. Culture is hegemonic (dominating): It has a limiting effect on thoughts, speech, behavior, action, inquiry and morality; it exercises power over individuals and groups. CRITUQUES OF FUCTIONALIST PERSPECTIVE OF CULTURE See page 137 paragraph of Textbook. SOCIOLOGICAL PARADIGMS OF CULTURE SOCIAL CONFLICT PARADIGM: POLITICAL ECONOMY AND SOCIAL CLOSURE (Pages 137-139) The powerful, wealthy, and prestigious members of society, the central players of the dominant culture of existing political economy use culture to justify or rationalize or legitimize assimilation, inequality, exploitation and oppression that are the manifestations of class conflict. Culture works against lower classes more than upper classes. CRITIQUES OF SOCIAL CONFLICT PERSPECTIVE OF CULTURE See page 139 paragraphs 2-4 of Textbook. SOCIOLOGICAL PARADIGMS OF CULTURE INTERACTIONIST PARADIGM: HUMAN AGENCY: Definitions of symbolic situations: “Culture is actively created and recreated through social interaction as people go about their everyday lives engaged in negotiations of reality based on shared meanings grounded in cultural symbols.” Culture is liberating for those who define it as opportunities, but constrains those who define it as dominating. CRITIQUES OF INTERACTIONIST PERSPECTIVE OF CULTURE See the last paragraph of page 139 of Textbook. SOCIOLOGICAL PARADIGMS OF CULTURE FEMINISM: PATRIARCHY “Culture is made by those in power—men. Males make the rules and laws and women transmit them” (Anzaldua 1999: 38). Patriarchal culture rationalizes and supports patriarchal structure (inequality and oppression of females/women) and the ideology of sexism that drives it. Culture works against the lives and behavior of females/women more than males/men. Women’s resistance of patriarchal culture causes gender conflict that initiates egalitarian changes in culture CRITIQUES OF FEMINIST PERSPECTIVE OF CULTURE Underestimates the power of women in the construction of the core values of a culture. CONCLUSION Because our very existence and understanding of ourselves is a product of our culture, and our socialization into it, we are not aware of the nature of that culture. Like a fish that has never been out of water, and able to compare it with its absence, we cannot and do not exist outside of culture. Conversely, social scientists who know more about the nature of society and culture are not normal—we’re weird (Bartle 2004: Page 59).