Chapter 3&4 - Chapter 3 Culture What we have loved,...

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Chapter 3 – Culture
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“What we have loved, Others will love, And we will teach them how.” – Wordsworth
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CULTURE AND SOCIETY
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CULTURE & HUMAN INTELLIGENCE: A quick history of our world Planet is 4.5 billion years old Life is 3.5 billion years old Homo sapiens are 250,000 years old Civilization is 12,000 years old Horticulture is 10,000 years old Agriculture is 5,000 years old Industry is 225 years old POINT: We’ve been using culture to reshape the world to our purposes for millennia
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Culture consists of the totality of our shared language, knowledge, material objects, and behavior Ways of thinking & acting, and the material objects that together form a people’s way of life Culture is a social heritage, a shared way a life Since it shapes what we do, and how we think and feel, culture is often mistaken as “human nature” or “natural” .. But U.S. stresses individualism while Japan values collective harmony “Man has no nature; what he has is history.” – José Ortega y Gassett
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Culture shapes our perception, knowledge, and understanding of the external world Society consists of the structure of relationships within which culture is created and shared through regularized patterns of social interaction Society = a group of people who interact in a defined territory and share a culture
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How we structure society constrains the kind of culture we construct Cultural preferences vary across societies No one way of life is natural to humans Animals rely on instincts & biological programming Humans rely on culture—not instinct—to ensure survival
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THE DEVELOPMENT OF CULTURE AROUND THE WORLD
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How many cultures are there? Language is a good indicator 200 spoken in the U.S. 7,000 globally Roughly half are spoken by <10,000 people Extinction in coming decades Dialects can often be seen as subcultures Often an issue of power “A language is a dialect with an army and a navy.” – Max Weinreich, linguist
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“I was a student in the department of anthropology. They taught me that nobody was ridiculous or bad or disgusting.” – Kurt Vonnegut
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Cultural Universals Sociobiology is the systematic study how biology affects human social behavior Looks at cultural universals from a biological perspective Borrows from Darwin’s theory of natural selection Sociobiology suggests that our thoughts and actions as a species can be explained through our genes and our biological makeup Men’s vs. women’s evolutionary desires in childbearing
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Some sociologists fear sociobiological approaches because they have been used in the past to justify inequality—claims that were later revealed to be scientifically untrue Using culture to overcome biology? “Dancing to Connect To A Global Tribe”
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This note was uploaded on 01/09/2011 for the course SOC 101 taught by Professor Leedacopley during the Fall '09 term at Columbus State Community College.

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Chapter 3&amp;4 - Chapter 3 Culture What we have loved,...

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