Essay about Sociology 1301 Lecture notes

Submitted By Madelyne-Gordon
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Pages: 17

See written notes for first 2 slides.

Culture shock
Personal disorientation when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life
Happens in our own communities as we confront people of other cultures
See pg 38
Confronting the Yanomano and Horace Minors Nacirema
Only humans depend on culture rather than instincts to ensure the survival of their kind

Elements of culture
Anything that carries a particular meaning recognized by people who share a culture
Human capacity to create and manipulate symbols is almost limitless
Entering an unfamiliar culture reminds us of the power of symbols
Ex: wedding rings, stop signs, swastika, (symbols that have changed meaning)
Language—pg 42/43
A system of symbols that allows people to communicate with one another
Process by which one generation passes culture to the next
Language is the key that unlocks centuries of accumulated wisdom
Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf
Claimed languages shapes reality
Each language has its own distinct symbols
Serve as the foundation of reality
All languages connect symbols with distinctive emotions
Sapir Whorf Thesis:
People see and understand the world thru cultural lens of language evidence does not support the notion that language determines reality the way Sapir and Whorf claimed
Culturally defined standards that people use to decide what is desirable, good, and beautiful and that serve as broad guidelines for social living (examples pg 42)
Specific statements that people hold to be true
Emerging Values
Like all elements of culture, values change over time
US always valued hard work
Recently, placed increasing importance on leisure
Time off from work to
Community service
Importance of material comfort remains strong
More people are seeking personal growth
Global perspective
Values vary from culture to culture
Values that are important to high-income countries differ from those in lower-income countries
Lower-income nations develop cultures that value survival and tend to be traditional
Higher-income nations develop cultures that value individualism and self-expression
Rules and expectations by which a society guides the behavior of its members
William Graham Sumner
Identified two types of norms
Mores (taboos)
Norms that are widely observed and have great moral significance, ie, murder, adultery or sexual promiscuity
Folkways- norms for routine or casual interaction such as dress, greeting people, manners, etiquette, etc.
Ideal and Real Culture
Values and norms do not describe actual behavior so much as they suggest how we should behave
Ideal culture: social patterns mandated by values and norms, i.e., ideal marriage no extramarital affairs, the constitution states that all men are created equal
Real culture: Social patterns that only approximate cultural expectations (see above)
A culture’s moral standards are important
“Do as I say, not as I do”

Cultural Diversity
United states—most multicultural of all high income countries
Centuries of heavy immigration (2011) 80 million people came from other nations
Japan—most monocultural of all high-income countries

High Culture and Popular Culture
High Culture: refers to cultural patterns that distinguish a society’s elite
Popular Culture: Describes cultural patterns that are widespread among a society’s population
Cultural patterns that set apart some segment of society’s population
Almost everyone participates in many subcultures without much commitment to one of them
Ethnicity and religion set people apart with tragic results
Many view US as melting pot
Nationalities blend into single “American” culture
How accurate is the melting pot image?
Subcultures involve not just difference but hierarchy
Multiculturalism: perspective recognizing the cultural diversity of the US and promoting respect and equal standing for all cultural