Chapter 3 Culture Chapter Outline The Concept of Culture Components of Culture The Symbolic Nature of Culture Culture and Adaptation Subcultures Universals of Culture Culture and Individual Choice Culture All that human beings learn to do, to use, to produce, to know, and to believe as they grow to maturity and live out their lives in the social groups to which they belong. Culture and Biology Human beings acquire the means to meet their needs through culture. Example: Although human infants cry when hungry, the responses to the cries vary. In some groups, infants are breast-fed; in others, they are fed prepared milk formulas from bottles; and in still others, they are fed according to the mother’s preference. Question Which of the following is not true about culture? A. It is shared. B. It is inborn. C. It is transmitted from one generation to the next. D. All of these choices are true. Answer: B It is not true that culture is inborn. Culture Shock The difficulty people have adjusting to a new culture that differs markedly from their own. Ethnocentrism When one makes judgments about other cultures based on the customs and values of one's own. Cultural Relativism Recognizing cultures must be understood on their own terms before valid comparisons can be made. Question With which cultural background do you identify with the most? Choose only one. A. Anglo (white, non-Hispanic) B. Hispanic C. African American, black D. Native American (American Indian) E. Asian F. Other Components of Culture Material culture (objects) Nonmaterial culture (rules) Cognitive culture (shared beliefs) Language Material Culture Everything human beings make and use. Material culture allows humans to cope with extreme environments and survive in all climates. Material culture has made human beings the dominant life form on earth. Nonmaterial Culture Knowledge, beliefs, values, and rules for appropriate behavior. Elements of nonmaterial culture: Norms Mores Folkways Values Question The shelters we live in and the clothes we wear to protect us from the cold would be examples of: A. nonmaterial culture. B. mores. C. norms. D. material culture. Answer: D The shelters we live in and the clothes we wear to protect us from the cold would be examples of material culture. Question Do you favor or oppose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would make English the official language of the United States? A. Favor B. Oppose C. No opinion Norms The rules of behavior that are agreed upon and shared within a culture and that prescribe limits of acceptable behavior. Norms define “normal” expected behavior and help people achieve predictability in their lives. Mores Strongly held norms that usually have a moral connotation and are based on the central values of the culture. Violations produce strong negative reactions, often supported by the law. Examples: sexual molestation of a child, rape, murder, incest, and child beating. Folkways Norms that permit a wide degree of individual interpretation as long as certain limits are not overstepped. People who violate folkways are seen as peculiar but they rarely elicit a strong public response. Ideal and Real Norms Ideal norms - expectations of what people should do under perfect conditions. Real norms - Norms that are expressed with qualifications and allowances for differences in individual behavior. Question Rate yourself on attractiveness to the opposite sex compared with the average person your age and in your culture. A. Highest 10 percent B. Above average C. Average D. Below Average E. Bottom 10 percent Values A culture’s general orientations toward life—its notions of what is good and bad, what is desirable and undesirable. Origin of Language Language evolved in the last 100,000 years. FOXP2, the humane gene involved in language, was discovered in 2001. FOXP2 switches on other genes during the development of the brain. The gene remained unaltered during the evolution of mammals until humans split from the chimpanzee line of descent. Language and Culture Language makes it possible for humans to share culture. Animals are controlled by their biology, but human behavior is determined by culture and language. Children learn culture through language, socialization, and role models. Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis The language a person uses determines their perception of reality. Different languages classify experiences differently. Example: The Hopi Indians Two words for water—pahe (water in a natural state) and keyi (water in a container). One word to cover every thing or being that flies, except birds. Question There is a culture which has no word for "time." Following the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: A. this culture is primitive. B. this culture has a different perception of reality since time is not an important concept. C. this society is not capable of understanding the concept of time. Answer: B There is a culture which has no word for "time." Following the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis this culture has a different perception of reality since time is not an important concept. Symbol Anything representing something else, carrying a particular meaning recognized by members of a culture. Symbols in Cyberspace :-) smile |^o Snoring :-( sad :-@ Screaming :-0 wow %-) Dazed or silly :-X my lips are sealed %*} Drunk LOL laughing out loud %-( Confused :-|| I am angry :-C Astonished Culture and Adaptation Culture is the primary means by which humans adapt to the challenges of their environment. We are culture producing, culture transmitting, and culture dependent. Take away culture and the human species would perish. Mechanisms of Cultural Change Two mechanisms are responsible for cultural change: Innovation – new concepts, ideas, and material objects. Diffusion - the movement of cultural traits from one culture to another. Innovation Invention - recombining elements already available to a society. Discovering new concepts. Finding new solutions to old problems. Devising and making new material objects. Diffusion Results when people from one group or society come into contact with another. Diffusion is marked by reformulation, in which a trait is modified in some way so that it fits better in its new context. Cultural Lag The phenomena through which new patterns of behavior emerge even though they conflict with traditional values. Animals and Culture Many animals produce and use tools: Chimps use twigs to catch termites. Sea otters use flat rocks to crack shellfish open. Experiments have shown that apes are able to master fundamental aspects of language. Subcultures Distinctive lifestyles, values, norms, and beliefs of certain segments of the population within a society. Types of subcultures include: ethnic, occupational, religious, political, geographic, social class and deviant. Cultural Universals Developed to solve common societal problems: Division of labor Incest taboo Marriage Family organization Rites of passage Families Families differ between cultures depending on who is allowed to marry and how many spouses are allowed. The basic family unit of husband, wife, and children is recognized in almost every culture. Sexual relations among a family (other than between husband and wife) are almost universally taboo. Functions of the Incest Taboo Helps keep sexual jealousy under control. Prevents the confusion of authority relationships in the family. Ensures family offspring will marry into other families, creating a network of social bonds. Rites of Passage Standardized rituals marking life transitions. Examples of rites of passage: Baptisms Bar and bat mitzvahs Graduation Wedding ceremonies Funerals and wakes Functions of Rites of Passage Help the individual achieve a social identity. Map out the individual’s life course. Aid the individual in making life plans. Provide people with a context to share emotions. Ideologies Beliefs and values that help groups maintain identity as a social unit. Examples of deeds performed in the name of an ideology: Thirteenth-century crusaders Abolitionists, prohibitionists, trade unionists, Civil rights activists, feminists, environmentalists Culture and Individual Choice Culture tells humans what to do, how to do it, and when it should be done. Humans have more individual freedom of action than any other creature. Society and culture limit choices and make it difficult to act in ways that deviate from cultural norms. Quick Quiz 1. The term ethnocentrism refers to the tendency to: A. judge others on their terms. B. judge others on a independent basis. C. judge others on their ability to adapt to our own culture. D. judge others according to your own customs and values. Answer : D The term ethnocentrism refers to the tendency to judge others according to your own customs and values. 2. Studying cultures on their own terms in order to make valid comparisons is: A. cultural relativism. B. ethnocentrism. C. selectivity. D. culture shock. Answer: A Studying cultures on their own terms in order to make valid comparisons is cultural relativism. 3. Murder, incest and child beating would all be examples of violations of: A. mores. B. folkways. C. values. D. beliefs. Answer : A Murder, incest and child beating would all be examples of violations of mores. 4. A set of distinctive values, norms, and beliefs that belong to a certain segment of the population is: A. a cultural universal. B. a subculture. C. a social class. D. an innovation. Answer : B A set of distinctive values, norms, and beliefs that belong to a certain segment of the population is a subculture. 5. An immigrant group that has maintained their identity and traditions is a/an: A. political subculture. B. geographic culture. C. ethnic subculture. D. religious subculture. Answer: C An immigrant group that has maintained their identity and traditions is an ethnic subculture.