Culture
A Matter of Perspective
What is Culture?
Music?
Food?
Clothing?
Race?
Material Culture
 Many times, what is thought of as culture is
only its outward manifestation.
 Music, food, race and clothing are material
culture.
 They are things that we can see, touch or
taste.
Non-material culture
 Non-material cultural
is ideas, beliefs and
values that influence
material culture.
Religion and language
are examples
of non-material culture
Cultural Roots
 Our collective
opinions, attitudes,
values and beliefs
influence such things
as laws, customs and
holidays.
Culture as a Lens
 Culture is like a
distorted lens that we
see the world through.
 Everyone’s lens is
distorted to some
extent.
Not Me?
 Chances are, you have an
opinion about this guy. Your
opinion reveals the distortion
of your cultural lens.
U.S. Culture : local (national) scale
White,
White, male,
attractive, rich,
athletic, educated
English language
Protestant
All people have a
tendency to reinforce
their own values and
beiefs.
Culture is often
dictated by the
characteristics and
values of the
dominant group.
What are the
characteristics
and values of
America?
Name
Washington
Adams
Gender
Male
Male
Ethnicity
English
English
religion
Protestant
Protestant
Jefferson
Madison
Monroe
Male
Male
Male
Welsh
English
Scotch
Protestant
Protestant
Protestant
Adams
Jackson
Male
Male
English
Scotch-Irish
Protestant
Protestant
Van Buren
Henry
Male
Male
Dutch
English
Protestant
Protestant
Tyler
Polk
Male
Male
English
Scotch-Irish
Protestant
Protestant
Name
Taylor
Fillmore
Pierce
Gender
Male
Male
Male
Ethnicity
English
English
English
Religion
Protestant
Protestant
Protestant
Buchanan
Lincoln
Johnson
Male
Male
Male
Scotch-Irish
English
English
Protestant
Protestant
Protestant
Grant
Hayes
Garfield
Male
Male
Male
Scotch-Irish
Scotch
English
Protestant
Protestant
Protestant
Arthur
Cleveland
Male
Male
Scotch-Irish
English, Irish
Protestant
Protestant
Name
Harrison
Mckinley
Gender
Male
Male
Ethnicity
English
Scotch-Irish
Religion
Protestant
Protestant
Roosevelt
Taft
Wilson
Harding
Male
Male
Male
Male
Dutch
English
Scotch-Irish
English-Dutch
Protestant
Protestant
Protestant
Protestant
Collidge
Hoover
Roosevelt
Male
Male
Male
English
Protestant
Swiss-German Protestant
Dutch
Protestant
Truman
Eisenhower
Kennedy
Male
Male
Male
English, Scotch
Protestant
Swiss-German Protestant
Roman Catholic
Irish
Name
Johnson
Gender
Male
Nixon
Male
Ford
Carter
Reagan
Male
Male
Male
Bush
Clinton
Bush
Male
Male
Male
Total male
43
Ethnicity
English,
Scotch-Irish
English
Scotch-Irish
English
English
English Irish
English
English Irish
English
Northern
Europe
43
Religion
Protestant
Protestant
Protestant
Protestant
Protestant
Protestant
Protestant
Protestant
Protestant
42
Hegemony and Marginalization
 Unfortunately, those
who do not share the
characteristics of the
dominant group often
feel that they don’t fit
in.
 They are pushed away
from the center of
power into the
margins. This is called
marginalization.
Hegemony and Language
 If language were a
truck, then culture
would be it’s cargo.
 Languages are
embedded with all
kinds of culture.
Japanese Language and Culture
 Before the Meiji Restoration, Japan
was a feudal society. They had a caste
system that held each social class in
it’s place.
 The Japanese have several different
levels of speech depending on who
they are talking to.
 When meeting someone for the first
time, it is custom to present someone
with a business card that has your
name, company name and rank in the
company so that they know what level
of speech to use.
Feudal Lord
Samurai
Artisans
Merchants
Peasants
Untouchables
Marginalization and Martial Arts
 Martial Arts is fighting
without traditional
weapons. In most feudal
societies, the only class
that was allowed to own a
weapon was the warrior
class. Because they often
abused their power, the
peasants created forms of
fighting to protect
themselves. They adapted
weapons from farm tools.
Extreme Distortion
 At its worst,
marginalizaiton takes
the form of hatred,
racism, chauvenism,
homophobia, sizeism,
religious persecution
and any other act by
those with distorted
lenses to reinforce
their own values
Core Periphery Model: Global Scale
The core periphery model
explains how some countries
Latin America
are more powerful than
China
others.
Anglo-America
Specifically, countries north
Western
Europe,
Japan
S. East
South
and south of 30 degrees
CORE
Asia
Asia
latitude are at the core, while
Australia, South Korea
those between the equator to
30
Middle East
degrees north and south are
Sub-Saharan Africa
on the periphery.
In other words, those at the
See also: World Systems Analysis core are hegemonic and
exploit/marginalize those on
the periphery.
Core-Periphery Model
Genocide
At it’s worst, an entire culture
Can have a distorted view of
Another race, religion or gender
This was the case with the
Holocaust, Genocide in Rwanda,
Darfur, Palestinian conflict
and many other atrocities.
World Conflict Zones
 Dark Blue=1000+ deaths per year
 Light Blue=10-1000 deaths per year
Looking at the Lens
 If our values and beliefs distort our view of
reality, what are we to do?
 Instead of always looking through the lens,
we should look at the lens from time to time.
 We should examine the way that our beliefs,
attitudes, behavior and language affect other
people. If our examination reveals
something hurtful, we should make amends
and make a change.
Response Format

Use the following format
to write what you learned
from this lesson:
1. Summarize the main idea
of the lesson.
2. Text to world: How does
this idea relate to the
world around you.
3. Text to self: Write your
attitudes, opinions,
experiences about this
idea.
Excerpts from reflection papers
 The culture goggles had the biggest impact on my life.
That lesson has completely changed the way I view the
world. It really connected and hit home. I understand
things about other cultures that I never would have before.
I really liked how you had something that was physical and
visual. It helps you remember things better when you use
kinesthetic learning techniques. This lesson will definitely
change my future outlook on other countries, religion and
races. It gives me an understanding that I have never had
before.I always thought of how weird and different other
places are. However, I never stopped to think about how
they viewed me. They probably think I’m weird!
Another excerpt
 While learning about the earth’s structure is all well and
good, it’s not something that particularly captivated me. I,
instead, was drawn to the political and social power aspect
of our world. Power is what our world is based on today.
One group of people becomes dominant, and then their
values and beliefs are reinforced by their power. If you do
not possess the same values or standards as this group,
you are less influential, less important and less powerful.
Many times, the classifications to be in the “group” are
impossible to achieve. You cannot change who you are or
what you look like. If being white is what is “in,” being
black is not something you change. We have to learn to
work with what we have and to love who we are.
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Culture - Wasatch School District