Lecture 2 - o1.16

Lecture 2 - o1.16 - Key Terms: Culture a system of meaning...

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Key Terms: Culture – a system of meaning embedded in symbols o Symbols: cars, clothes, skin color, heritage, ethnicity, etc. o Societies give meaning to everything that we do o Culture is like a “meta-language”, a “super language” o Everything carries meaning within the culture o All societies have a culture Used to identify people o Part of being a human being is being able to learn and adapt to the culture to which one was born to Characteristics of culture 1. All cultures are artificial a. People are not born with a culture b. 100 years ago, people thought culture was in a person’s blood c. People adapt to and learn the culture d. People are born with the ability to embrace the culture they are exposed to e. There is no innate culture that one is destined to have f. Culture is not innate i. Culture is not “hard-wired” into humans 2. Cultures are learned a. Ex. Cases with kid’s locked in closets no culture b. Unable to eat like an adult, speak a language, etc. c. Needed to be treated like an infant 3. Cultures are not static a. Even tough people learn culture from others, it is reinvented and done differently by each individual b. Culture is learned and then the culture is tweaked c. Cultures change over time i. Civilizations are not doing the same exact way that their stone-age ancestors lived d. Everyone reinvents culture to suit their own needs, perspectives, and values e. They change over time. We all “reinvent” our society/our culture 4. All cultures have history a. Ideas and perspectives change b. They might be using old tools, but they have changed 5. All cultures involve some level of inequality a. Children are not equal to adults b. Many of the less complex society [societies without strict political hierarchy/clear leaders] still have “elders” i. Elders more influence over society because they have more experience ii. There is still a level of inequality iii. Creates a way to organize society c. Society with major inequality – patriotically i. Men in power ii. Chief & king in power Ethnocentrism – a perspective that claims that your own society is superior
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This note was uploaded on 04/30/2010 for the course ANTHRO 2A taught by Professor Douglas during the Spring '08 term at UCSI.

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Lecture 2 - o1.16 - Key Terms: Culture a system of meaning...

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