Lecture 3 - Culture

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Lecture 3: Culture

Culture and Taken-for-Granted Orientations to Life:

Culture and Taken-for-Granted Orientations to Life What is Normal, Natural, or Usual? The Culture Within Us Culture as Lens Culture Shock Ethnocentrism

Practicing Cultural Relativism:

Practicing Cultural Relativism Understanding Cultures on Their Own Terms “ Sick Cultures ” − Robert Edgerton Confronting Contrasting Views of Reality


What some consider food, even delicacies, can turn the stomachs of others. These roasted grub worms were for sale in Bangkok, Thailand.

Components of Culture :

Components of Culture Symbolic Culture Material Culture

Symbolic Culture: Gestures:

Symbolic Culture: Gestures Conveying Messages without Words Gestures ’ Meanings Differ Among Cultures Can Lead to Misunderstandings Is it really true that there are no universal gestures?

Symbolic Culture: Language:

Symbolic Culture: Language Allows Cumulative Human Experience Provides Social or Shared Past Provides Social or Shared Future Allows Shared Perspective Allows Complex, Shared, Goal-Directed Behavior

Language and Perception: The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis:

Language and Perception: The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis Language Has Embedded Within It Ways of Looking at the World Sapir-Whorf Reverses Common Sense

Symbolic Culture: Values, Norms, and Sanctions:

Symbolic Culture: Values, Norms, and Sanctions Values − What is Desirable in Life Norms − Expectations or Rules for Behavior Sanctions − Reaction to Following or Breaking Norms Positive & Negative Sanctions Moral Holidays and Places

Folkways, Mores, and Taboos:

Folkways, Mores, and Taboos Folkways − Norms not Strictly Enforced Mores − Core Values: We Insist on Conformity Taboos


Subcultures Subculture − A World Within the Dominant Culture


Countercultures Countercultures − Groups With Norms and Values at Odds With the Dominant Culture

An Overview of U.S. Values:

An Overview of U.S. Values Achievement and Success Individualism Hard Work Efficiency and Practicality Science and Technology Material Comfort Freedom

An Overview of U.S. Values Continued:

An Overview of U.S. Values Continued Democracy Equality Group Superiority Education Religiosity Romantic Love

Value Clusters:

Value Clusters Success Education Hard work Material comfort Individualism

An Emerging Value Cluster:

An Emerging Value Cluster Leisure Self-fulfillment Physical Fitness Youthfulness Concern for the Environment

Value Contradictions:

Value Contradictions U.S. values group superiority? Change over time

When Values Clash:

When Values Clash Culture Wars

Values as Distorting Lenses:

Values as Distorting Lenses What society “ ought ” to be like

“Ideal” Versus “Real” Culture:

“ Ideal ” Versus “ Real ” Culture Ideal: What a group considers worth aiming for Real: What people actually do

Cultural Universals:

Cultural Universals Some Activities are Universal − Courtship, Marriage, Funerals, Games Present in all cultures, but the specific customs differ from one group to another

Technology in the Global Village:

Technology in the Global Village The New Technology Cultural Lag and Cultural Change Technology and Cultural Leveling

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