2-2 - Soc February 2 2010 and February 4 2010 I Culture a...

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Soc – February 2, 2010 and February 4, 2010 I. Culture a. Definition : The sum total of a society’s mental (arts, music, mannerisms, religion, content of the media, language, laws, values, belief systems and scientific knowledge) and material creations (how we dress, types of buildings we create, our technology, etc.) i. If a society has a sizeable part of its population that does not know the dominant language, it is going to be very hard for the people to make it to at least middle-class ii. Digital divide: the difference between people are who are and are not internet savvy b. Components of Culture i. Values 1. The things we hold most dear and are most important to us that include, but are not restricted to, the lofty ideals of truth, justice, etc. 2. Whatever is important to us is what we value (family, individualism, reputation, money, being successful, equality 3. When you have a large, complex society, there tends to be different values for different subgroups ii. Norms 1. Norms are the rules and expectations for behavior a. Some are more serious than others i. Ex: eating with the right fork… who cares ii. Cheating on an exam: big deal b. There is a relationship between values and norms i. All of the components of a society’s culture are intertwined with one another c. On one hand, our norms reflect the values that we hold i. If we value education, it follows that we should study and go to class and do our homework ii. If we value the environment, it follows that we should reduce, reuse, and recycle, donate, don’t litter, etc. iii. If we value family, we should communicate with them, respect them, and perhaps grow up and build your own family iv. If we value money, we should get a job, save your money, spend it wisely, etc. d. Values are frequently used to justify the norms that are in place i. Ex: At some point, we left college for the first time to come home, you go out with your friends and your parents try to give you a curfew. You’re angry and ask why. .. Your mother says, “Because I said so.” The value that your parents try to show is that they have the
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authority to tell you what to do and you should respect it (aka parental obedience) e. NORMS VARY FROM TIME AND PLACE i. Ex: Painting your body for a football game. Not always appropriate. iii. Statuses and Roles 1. Statuses: the positions we occupy in social space a. Who we are is very much influenced by our statuses b. We all have multiple statuses (mine would be: niece, daughter, friend, sister, student, etc.) 2. Roles: involve the behavioral expectations attached to the statuses (Ex: students expectations: to pay tuition, maintain GPA, come to class—if you don’t do these, you’ll be kicked out of the university) 3. Role strain and Role Conflict a. Our behavior is very constrained by our roles b. Roles are extremely important mechanisms of social control especially if we internalize the role i. Knowing what you’re supposed to do, but voluntarily doing it because you know it’s right
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This note was uploaded on 05/02/2011 for the course SOC 302 taught by Professor Langenkamp during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas.

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2-2 - Soc February 2 2010 and February 4 2010 I Culture a...

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