Culture Basics

Three Examples of Norms within Cultures:

  1. South Korean men go through doors first while women help them with their coats.
  2. If you praise a specific object in Greece to enthusiastically the host may give it to you.
  3. In Senegal, the people never eat food with their left hand since it is considered offensive.

Terms to know:

Culture is knowledge, values, customs, and physical objects that are shared by members of a society.

Society is the territory that preserves a culture because the people within it are not born knowing their culture and the shared culture links society.

Sociobiology is the study of the biological basis for human behavior.  It states that our culture is based on genes given and passed through natural selection that influence our behavior.

The importance of symbols:  it interprets people’s views of reality and how other people will view it because it has a meaning behind it that is understood by others and moves their emotions so they must act upon it.

Language’s role on population:  allows for people to communicate overtime and over distances and this allows us to pass over experiences through ideas and knowledge.

Formal sanctions:  seen as laws with positive or negative consequences.  Informal sanctions:  carried out by the people.

Norms:  based on values since they dictate our social behavior.

Values:  are so general that it has been included in our daily life and turned into specific norms.

Material vs. Non-Material Culture:  material would consist of where we live, work, what we make, how we move, and where we practice religion.  Non-material culture is the core and beliefs that keep a society together and producing material culture.

How does Culture change overtime:  overtime values change due to discovery, invention, and diffusion which changes culture.

Culture Relativism:  a culture’s view of another culture through their eyes.

Cultural Ethnocentrism:  a culture’s view of another culture based on their own.

Cultural Universal:  general traits of all cultures.

Cultural Particular:  the practice of the general traits.

I believe this is where most of the definitions came from.  Thank you for the wonderful class Ms. Windish!

http://glencoe.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0078745195/

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