Week 4, Class Notes, Culture

Week 4, Class Notes, Culture - Week 4 Class Notes Culture...

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Week 4, Class Notes, Culture Culture: the complex system of meaning and behavior that defines the way of life for a given group or society, including beliefs, values, knowledge, art, morals, laws, customs, habits, language, dress, etc. It gives shape to human experience. Culture has material aspects: buildings, art, tools, toys, media, clothing, etc. (they are given symbolic meaning, think coke bottle in The Gods Must Be Crazy) Culture has nonmaterial aspects: norms, laws, values, ideas, customs, beliefs, etc. Cultural universals exist- customs and practices that occur across all societies Characteristics of culture: It’s shared It’s learned directly and indirectly It’s taken for granted It’s symbolic and symbols have different meanings based on the context It varies across time and space Because of this cultural variance, cultural relativism must be observed : believing that something can be understood and judged only in relationship to its cultural context.
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