Sociology Chapter 2 Notes - September 5, 2006

Sociology Chapter 2 Notes - September 5, 2006 - Sociology...

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Sociology Chapter 2 Notes September 5, 2006 Culture – the language, beliefs, values, norms, behaviors and even material objects that are passed from one generation to the next. Material culture – such things as jewelry, buildings, weapons, machines, and even eating utensils, hairstyles, clothing Nonmaterial culture – a group’s ways of thinking (its beliefs, values, and other assumptions about the world) and doing (its common patterns of behavior, including language, gestures, and other forms of interaction) Our speech, gestures, beliefs and customs are usually taken for granted. We assume that they are normal or natural Culture touches almost every aspect of who and what we are. Language, values, morality, ideas about religion, war, money, love, use of space. Culture within us – we have acquired all of the above Culture becomes the lens through which we perceive and evaluate what is going on around us. When these assumptions are challenged, it can be upsetting. Culture shock – disorientation from experiencing another culture Ethnocentrism – a tendency to use our own group’s ways of doing things as the yardstick for judging others. William Sumner developed the concept of ethnocentrism: “One’s own group is the center of everything, and all others are scaled and rated with reference to it.” Can lead to discrimination Cultural relativism – we can try to understand a culture on its own terms.
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