SOCIOLOGY THE STUDY OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
CHAPTER 2
Cultural Diversity
Section 1: The Meaning of Culture
Section 2: Cultural Variation
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HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
SOCIOLOGY THE STUDY OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
Section 1: The Meaning of Culture
Objectives:
 Define the meaning of the term culture and
explain how material culture and non- material
culture differ.
 Identify and describe the basic components of
culture.
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HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
SOCIOLOGY THE STUDY OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
Section 1: The Meaning of Culture
Culture
 Culture – consists of all the shared products of human
groups which include physical objects, beliefs,
values, and behaviors shared by a group
 Material Culture – are physical objects that people
create and use such as books, buildings, clothing, and
cooking
 Nonmaterial Culture – are abstract human creations
that include beliefs, family patterns, ideas, and
language
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HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
SOCIOLOGY THE STUDY OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
CULTURE
all the shared products
of human groups
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Material Culture
Non material Culture
physical objects that people
create and use
abstract human creations
Examples
Examples
automobiles, books,
buildings, clothing,
computers, and cooking
beliefs, family patterns, ideas,
language, political and
economic systems, and rules
HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
SOCIOLOGY THE STUDY OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
Section 1: The Meaning of Culture
Basic Components of Culture
 Technology – physical objects and rules for using them
 Symbols – anything that represents something else and
has a shared meaning
 Language – the organization of written or spoken
symbols into a standardized system
 Values – shared beliefs about what is good and bad or
right or wrong
 Norms – shared rules of conduct
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HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
SOCIOLOGY THE STUDY OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
Section 2: Cultural Variation
Objectives:
 Describe cultural universals and explain why
they exist.
 Explain what the terms ethnocentrism and
cultural relativism mean.
 Identify factors that account for variations
among and within cultures.
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HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
SOCIOLOGY THE STUDY OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
Section 2: Cultural Variation
Cultural Universals
 Cultural universals – general traits common to
all cultures
 Exist because some needs are so basic that all
societies must develop certain features to
ensure their fulfillment
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HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
SOCIOLOGY THE STUDY OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
Section 2: Cultural Variation
Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism
 Ethnocentrism is the tendency to view one’s own
culture and group as superior to all others.
 People in all societies are at times ethnocentric.
 When ethnocentrism is too extreme, cultural growth
may stagnate.
– Limiting the number of immigrants into a society can
cause this.
 Extreme ethnocentrism can also lead to conflicts such
as wars.
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HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
SOCIOLOGY THE STUDY OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
Section 2: Cultural Variation
Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism
 Cultural relativism is the belief that cultures should be
judged by their own standards.
– Researchers attempt to understand cultural practices
from the point of view of the people they are
studying.
Participant Observation useful
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HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
SOCIOLOGY THE STUDY OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
Section 2: Cultural Variation
Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism
 Cultural relativism helps sociologists in understanding
why people in different societies have different cultural
norms.
– e.g. the Sepoy Rebellion of India in 1857
(gunpowder cartridges were sealed with pig or beef
fat, both are religiously offensive to Hindu and
Muslims)
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HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
SOCIOLOGY THE STUDY OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
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Ethnocentrism
Cultural Relativism
the tendency to view one’s
own culture and group as
superior to other different
cultures
belief that a culture should
be judged by its own
standards rather than by
those of another culture
Example
Example
HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
SOCIOLOGY THE STUDY OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
Section 2: Cultural Variation
Factors That Account for Variations
Among and Within Cultures
 Subculture – shared values, norms and behaviors
that are not shared by the entire population
 Counterculture – rejection of the major values,
norms, and practices of the larger society and
replacing them with a new set of cultural values
 The old older Amish are a good example of a counterculture. They have done everything they can to
demonstrate their separation from the world around them..
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HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
SOCIOLOGY THE STUDY OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
Section 2: Cultural Variation
Factors That Account for Variations
Among and Within Cultures
 Subculture – shared values, norms and behaviors
that are not shared by the entire population
 Counterculture – rejection of the major values,
norms, and practices of the larger society and
replacing them with a new set of cultural values
 The old older Amish are a good example of a counterculture. They have done everything they can to
demonstrate their separation from the world around them..
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HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
SOCIOLOGY THE STUDY OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
Section 2: Cultural Variation
Chapter Wrap-Up
1. List five examples of material culture and five examples of
nonmaterial culture.
2. What is language, and why is it such an important part of
culture?
3. How do folkways, mores, and laws differ? List three examples
of each type of norm.
4. How do cultural traits, cultural complexes, and cultural
patterns differ?
5. How did Margaret Mead contribute to the study of cultures?
6. What is ethnocentrism? How does it differ from cultural
relativism?
7. How are subcultures and countercultures related?
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HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
SOCIOLOGY THE STUDY OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
Essay Questions
1. Identify the three levels of culture studied by sociologist and
explain how they are related. (you may use a graphic
organizer to help with your explanation)
2. Discuss the conclusions of Margret Mead research concerning
temperament, explain how she arrived at her conclusion.
3. Describe the environmental factors that might account for the
differences between the Arapesh and the Mundugumor
4. Explain what ethnocentrism is, how it is different from
cultural relativism and why extreme ethnocentrism can cause
a culture to stagnate?
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HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
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CHAPTER 2 Cultural Diversity