CHAPTER 4 SOCIETY People who interact in a defined territory And share a culture Society & Culture-> Interdependent Society What is Culture? Ways of thinking and acting Material That objects form a way of life Culture Culture: Two Categories 1. Material Culture Physical things created by members of society 2. Non-Material (Symbolic)Culture Ideas created by members of society Material Culture Physical objects people create and give meaning Examples: Homes School buildings Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques Cell phones Clothes Cars Computers Books Material Culture: Material Culture Non-Material Culture Common elements: Symbols Language Values Norms Non-material Culture Rules of Etiquette for Eating: Japan Non-material Culture Rules of etiquette for eating U.S. Non-material Culture: Music http://www.youtube.com/user/beyonce http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tJYN-eG1zk Symbols Meaning recognized by people who share a culture Humans create meaning Symbols Non-material / Symbolic Culture We communicate through: Signs Gestures Language Signs Gestures Language System of symbols: People communicate Language: Key to accumulating knowledge Cultural Passing next Transmission culture one generation to the Human Languages: A Variety of Symbols Here the single English word “Read” is written in twelve of the hundreds of languages. Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis The way people think is strongly affected by their native languages. Controversial theory by linguist Edward Sapir and his student Benjamin Whorf Does language shape reality? See and understand world through language Cannot think without language Language connects symbols with emotions Does language determine thought? Chinese, only a single term luotuo( 骆驼) In English the word is camel. In Arabic, there are more than 400 words for the animal. In Eskimo language has many words involving snow. For example: apun= “snow on the ground”, qanikca= “hard snow on the ground”, utak= “block of snow” Language & Reality In English, time & objects counted & talked about in same way Time is objectified In Hopi, concept of time as “becoming later”, Not a physical quantity that you can “have” Language and Reality Language & Reality English—a world of things Time as commodity Hopi—a world of events Language & Reality http://vimeo.com/42744105 *** http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS1Dno_d2yA How Many Cultures? One indication is language 7,000 languages Words Past and Present 40s Slang Take a powder Fuddy-duddy Gobbledygook Eager beaver Flip your wig Lettuce Pass the buck 60s & 70s Slang Skinny Can you dig it? Spaz Far out Chill Bread A gas Bug out Language and Emotions Language influences human emotional experiences Words such as anger or sadness Cultural artifacts of English language Connecting symbols with Emotions Values and Beliefs Values Culturally defined standards What is desirable, good, and beautiful Broad guidelines for social living Beliefs Statements accepted as true American Values Key Values of U.S. Culture Robin Williams Jr. (1970) Ten values central to our way of life 1.Equal Opportunity Not equality of condition but equality of opportunity 2.Individual Achievement & Personal Success 3.Material Comfort 4. Activity and Work Our heroes are “doers” 5. Practicality and Efficiency Practical over the theoretical 6. Progress 7. Science Expect scientists to solve problems and improve our lives 8. Democracy and Free Enterprise Individual rights 9. Freedom Individual initiative over collective conformity 10. Racism and Group Superiority Some people in the U.S. still judge others according to gender, race, ethnicity, and social class Emerging Values Values change over time: Material comfort Personal growth U.S. always valued hard work Recently, increasing importance of leisure Time off from work for: Travel Family Community service Norms Rules that guide behavior People respond with Sanctions: Rewards Punishments Encourages conformity to cultural norms……Norbert Elias Laws Norms established by an “authority” Examples: Speed limits Income Tax Crime Mores (“more rays”) or Taboos Norms widely observed Great moral significance Religious dietary restrictions Polygamy Pedophilia Incest Cannibalism Folkways Norms for routine or casual interaction Correct manners Appropriate dress Proper eating behavior Sanctions Shame Painful sense that others disapprove Guilt Negative ourselves judgment we make about Ethnocentrism People use their culture as standard to evaluate another group or individual Viewing other cultures as abnormal http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QJ7ZrL9Y4g Cultural Relativism Understanding other cultures on their terms Researchers: Use cultural relativism Objectivity High Culture & Popular Culture High Culture Cultural patterns of society’s elite Popular Cultural Culture patterns widespread among a society’s population High Culture Popular Culture Applying Theory: Culture Society: The Basics, 9th Edition by John Macionis Copyright © 2007 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. 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