Exam 1 Booknotes - Aug 16-Sept 13 SOCI 3010 ~ Sociology of...

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Aug 16-Sept 13 SOCI 3010 ~ Sociology of Culture Exam 1 Book Notes Spillman, “Introduction: Culture and Cultural Sociology”: pg. 1-12 1. Introduction a. Cultural sociology is about meaning-making b. Investigate how it happens, why meanings vary, how meanings influence human action, and the ways it is important in social cohesion, domination, and resistance 2. “Culture” a. Cultural sociology, combining interdisciplinary influences with sociological presuppositions, examines meaning-making processes along 3 specific dimensions: i. Meaning-making in everyday action ii. The institutional production of meaning iii. The shared mental frameworks which are the tools of meaning-making b. The various things we might commonly mean when we refer to culture i. Culture as a Feature of Entire Groups and Societies 1. Connects us to other people in our group and contrasts with outsiders 2. Members of the same culture or subculture share views of the world, habits, shorthand codes and assumptions (how we eat, etc.) 3. Cultural difference- a new situation/group 4. The idea of culture emerged in 19 th century Europe after exploration and now is commonplace; was crucial to the formation of anthropology as a discipline a. Anthropological sense- the entire way of life of a people is thought to be embedded in and expressed by its culture 5. Cultures were rated according to western ideals in the 19 th century and Europe was placed at the top a. This was challenged in the 20 th century and now is pluralized and relativized so that different cultures have equal value ii. Culture as a Separate Realm of Human Expression 1. Special activities/practices and material artifacts that are most valuable to us and what needs to be preserved to express/represent the identity of the group 2. There’s an implicit contrast between “culture” and other realms of social life 3. “Culture” came to refer to the practices and products of a special set of institutions in society in the course of the Industrial Revolution in England; separated from economics and politics as a separate sphere and now involved humanities, like literature, art and music iii. Culture as Meaning-Making 1. Any list of “cultural” things will necessarily be incomplete because meaning and interpretation are active and fluid processes; this shows that there is confusion in the understanding of culture a. This can be resolved if we think of culture as processes of meaning- making, which may operate in different sorts of social locations and may be evident in all sorts of social practices and products b. The central concern is to understand the processes of meaning-making, to account for different meanings, and to examine their effects in social life c. This view includes culture as a specialized realm and as an attribute of groups ; investigate culture as a separate sphere of life and a whole way of life d. Human forms of thought and ways of doing things are too diverse and differentiated to be explained by universal features 3. “Culture” in American Sociology 1
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a. Theories of meaning-making that
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This note was uploaded on 09/21/2011 for the course SOCI 3010 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at University of Georgia Athens.

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Exam 1 Booknotes - Aug 16-Sept 13 SOCI 3010 ~ Sociology of...

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