Sociology 100 Midterm 2 Class Notes - Sociology 100 Monday...

This preview shows page 1 - 4 out of 15 pages.

Sociology 100 – Monday, October 7 Chapter 5: Culture and Social Structure A. Culture Defined as … o “The sum total of the social environment in which we are raised and continued to be socialized through our lives” Foundations of our cultural expectations o Geography o Climate o Language o Norms o Values o Current Artifacts o Traditions One culture or many? o But all societies share certain cultural universals 1. To function for the smooth and continued operation of a society (functionalist perspective) 2. Imposed by more dominant societies upon others which are less dominant (conflict perspective) o Postmodern perspective -> there is no single Canadian culture Only a multiplicity of diverse cultures What is in your backpack? o Material culture tells us about non-material culture Culture shapes our identities through o Language Why is language important? Personal expression Transmission of knowledge More than 200 mother tongues in Canada What do you see? Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis: language shapes reality Linguistic turn The idea that language constitutes reality Experience synonymous with language Implications of linguistic turn o It means we cannot access a reality beyond our perceptions, which are always interpretations – perceptions are reality.
Social constructionism The idea that our understanding of the social and/or physical world develop from within social contexts Sapir’s linguistic determinism (97) Hyperreality (Baudrillard) The inability of thinking people to distinguish between reality and fantasy (language is reality) Functionalist Shared language essential for the well-being of a society Conflict Language as power and control Gendered Language Feminist framework -> language reflects cultural constructions of gender o Names o Adjectives to describe males and females o Job titles o Norms Language communicates norms Types of norms o Folkways -> informal Cultural expectations o Mores -> formal Norms (based on values and typically laws) that are crucial to maintain social control o Taboos -> wrong in and of themselves Prescriptive norms o Expected to do (taxes, work) Proscriptive norms o Expected to refrain from doing o Values Collectively shared ideas about right and wrong E.g. Equality Reflected in norms E.g. the value of equality is reflected in laws recognizing same-sex marriage Theoretical Views on Values Functionalist perspective
o Durkheim -> norms and values are social facts that result in a collective conscience o Societies that share common language/norms/values are more likely to be harmonious and stable Because each individual has internalized those norms (internalization of norms) Conflict perspective o There are contradictions between values and norms o Ideal culture versus real culture Ethnocentrism and cultural relativism These examples raise issues concerning … o Ethnocentrism The tendency to believe one’s cultural beliefs and practice are superior and used as the standard by which other cultures

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture