Unformatted text preview: The Structure of Culture Chapter 2.2 (Traditional rice farmer (inset), and urban commuter, Japan) Last time, we looked at some terminology related to culture. We also touched on Early Mankind Human migrations Hearths of Domestication and Culture Theories on Diffusion And convergence; globalism What did you discover about the foods you like, and their cultural origins? Today we'll explore... Components of Culture More on Spatial Diffusion Terms for Cultural Change Acculturation Syncretism Now, let's introduce Leslie White and Julian Huxley, two social scientists with similar ideas for analyzing cultures. (These) social scientists have broken down culture into: Language and ideas Objects and tools Patterns of group behavior Leslie White (1900 1975)
named these three components as: Ideological Technological Sociological In similar fashion, Julian Huxley (1887 1975) identified the same three strands using the terms: Mentifacts Artifacts Sociofacts Beliefs and values, mythologies and theologies, Language and religion... These are examples of mentifacts, in the ideological subsystem of culture. The material objects... that are used for housing, feeding, transporting, and amusing ourselves are considered artifacts of the technological subsystem. The patterns of interpersonal relationships... ...are termed sociofacts and are part of the sociological subsystem of culture. Yet, often there is overlap... (integration) "The interlocking nature of all aspects of culture is termed cultural integration." F.G.G. Cultural Change Change is inevitable, even in cultures. There are several terms geographers use in association with change, such as: Innovation (Spatial) diffusions Innovation
refers to the spread and adoption of an idea that originated within the same cultural group. In modern societies, innovation is recognized as commonplace. In previous societies it was less so. Spatial diffusion refers to the spread of an idea or innovation from one group to another across space. (American car in Cuba) There is more than one type of diffusion... Relocation diffusion Expansion diffusion Relocation diffusion
implies distance. Old World eating habits have made their way to the New World... Expansion diffusion
spreads by direct contact and adoption
(of the innovation). There are at least three specific types or examples of Expansion diffusion. Contagious diffusion Hierarchical diffusion Stimulus diffusion Contagious diffusion implies direct contact, such influenza in 1781. In hierarchical diffusion, change is spread through the places of importance first, then more remote areas. Think how fashion spreads... Or think about the opposite... The ironically successful reverse hierarchical diffusion of Walmart! Stimulus diffusion: The idea
becomes the stimulus for diffusion. Cherokee language was developed around 1820, after observing white people delivering long speeches with the aid of the written word.
Example: The Cherokee Phoenix newspaper first appeared 1828. (Cherokee Language) Expansionary and hierarchical appeal of soccer, Northeast U.S. 1910-1970 Relocation diffusion (and expansion diffusion) of the HIV-1 virus. We also recognize... Sometimes diffusion has obstacles, known as diffusion barriers. Both distance and physical obstacles can be barriers. Diffusion is a selective process.
The receiver culture may adopt or reject. (The Japanese love their baseball.) "Political restrictions, religious taboos and other social customs are cultural barriers to diffusion." F.G.G. (Saudis do not adopt all things Western.) Then, it is not always certain that the occurrence of a culture trait in more than one place is the result of diffusion or independent (parallel) invention. There are many historical examples of parallel inventions, including: the pyramids of Egypt and the Mayas, the telephone by Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell, and agriculture in various cultural hearths. When two culture groups come into contact, there may be adjustments in both groups. (Marti Gras in New Orleans) Adjustments... Acculturation Syncretism Acculturation... implies picking up
the values, attitudes, customs, and speech patterns of another culture. (Asian-Americans at a picnic in California) Such as when immigrants take on the values, attitudes, customs, and speech of the receiving culture. (Latin-American family in Miami) Yet, today the intensification of contact between distant people has resulted in the acceleration of innovation and of the spatial diffusion
of goods and ideas. Syncretism is a fusion of
innovations old and new, to make the ideas more appealing, meanwhile facilitating their adoption. When the Catholic church came to the New World, the incorporated local saints, and other regional traditions. Figure 2.26 shows examples of foreign cuisine syncretised to American eating habits. Next time, we'll review all of Chapter 2, and watch a video on early cultures. Devise any three questions, related to Central America or the Caribbean. And answer them! Review of Chapter 2 So what is culture? Culture is a collection of patterns of group behavior. "It is transmitted within a society to succeeding generations by imitation, instruction, and example." F.G.G. Cultural traits are small units of learned behavior. (Hunting with arrows; Kalahari Bushman) Cultural traits and complexes have areal extent. They can be generalized into regions. Geographic concept !?! Cultural regions may be grouped to show cultural realms. Cultural ecology is the study of the relationship between an ethnic group and the natural environment it occupies. Environmental determinism was the old notion that environment shapes the culture. Possibilism is the more recent theory that views the people as the agents of their own development, given their current level of technology. The objects humans put on the landscape are features of the cultural landscape. Early man migrated from the Old World into the empty new continents. The term multi-linear evolution refers to the development of certain similar cultural characteristics among people living in similar environments.
(such as agriculture and animal domestication) Let's review the Chief centers of Domestication ...which is correlated to Early Cultural Hearths. In contrast, diffusionism is the belief that all culture is spread (only) by contact. The structure of culture involves the convergence of three recognized subsystems: ideological, technological and sociological. Geographers and other social scientists are interested in cultural change. Innovation refers to the spread of an idea within the cultural group where it originated. Spatial diffusion refers
to the spread of an idea from one group to another. (Largest mall in Latin America) When a group of people take on the values, attitudes, customs and speech of the hosting/dominant culture, this is called acculturation. When there is a fusion of old and new innovations or ideas... This is called ________ syncretism. After you watch the video, write about your impressions; what you enjoyed or what you learned. ...
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- Summer '07
- Leslie White, Spatial Diffusion, Domestication and Culture, diffusion Stimulus diffusion