Week 4, Class Notes, 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.
exist- customs and practices that occur across all societies
Characteristics of culture:
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,
must be observed
something can be understood and judged only in relationship to its cultural context.
As opposed to