SY101September 27, 2016Chapter 3: Culture What is Culture?-Patterns/explicit and implicit behaviors-The way we make sense of and give meaning to things - Stuart Hall: shared conceptual maps of meanings - Help us make sense of the world and is something that is passed down from 1 generation to next Components of Culture -Material: arts, buildings, weapons, machinery -Non-material: language, values and gestures. Symbols we use to give meaning to and represent our world in a particular way Components of Symbolic Culture Gestures-Cultural and national differences Language -Allows us to construct, share and externalize meanings -Allows the human experience to be cumulative -Provides a social and a shared past and future -Shared understanding and complex, shared, and bold behavior -Language determines our consciousness: we learn a certain way of thinking and perceiving Culture and Power -Culture as ideology (conflict theory) -Ideologies: shared cultural knowledge or sets of beliefs which serve the interests of particular groups Conflict Theory -Interested in how people were convinced to believe these status quo -Culture through false consciousness (things will get better- work hard and play by the rules). Marx said that most people will not get promoted, make more money and that people are exploited-We continue to have inequality because we are all the 99%- no rebelliousness because of false consciousness. People will not fight for social change because they all believe that times will get better (the American dream)
Culture as Discourse Postmodernism -Discourse: a framework of shared cultural understandings -Expressed through language, images, and social practices -Images that pop up when you think about a place, idea, or thingEx) Paris, Italy, South Africa **Apartheid: a former policy of segregation and political and economic discrimination against non-European groups in the Republic of South Africa.Learned from Canada and taken to South Africa -Privilege certain ways of understanding and marginalize others -Privilege understandings will change over time-These might be interpreted through magazines, support groups, doctors and causes social pressure Ex) changing someone’s views or understandings on things, ideas, thoughtsExamples The dominant narrative of Western Rescue Care (often white Western Rescue of non-white children from poor countries) This becomes its narrative Breastfeeding example, the dominant discourse is that breast milk is best (implication is formula fed babies have bad mothers)What is a good mother? Culture -Values, norms, and sanctions and reproduce culture-Values: shared standards of good and bad -Norms: accepted rules of behavior that develop out of values - Sanctions: consequences and reactions used to reinforce adherence to norms, which can be positive or negative-A continuum of norms based on severity of sanctions applied -Folkways: the traditional behavior or way of life of a particular community or group of people.