Test 1 Lecture Notes - SOCI 3010: Sociology of Culture Test...

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SOCI 3010: Sociology of Culture – Test #1 Lecture Notes 18 August 2010 I. What is culture? a. Webs of meaning b. Interactions between people c. Symbols d. Subjective, negotiated process II. What is the sociology of culture? a. It is a very broad topic b. Not a lot of consensus III. Sociological definitions of culture a. Norms, values, beliefs, or expressive symbols i. Culture is relatively stable, yet changes ii. Culture is an abstraction iii. Complicated phenomenon iv. Distinct from society while also being associated with society b. Different definitions from different theories c. Norm: ways people in society act d. Symbols: represent other values, beliefs IV. Biology vs. Culture a. Biology does not change across time or other places V. Term “culture” often refers to high culture or elite culture a. Identities culture with civilization in contrast to nature i. Ballet, opera, art b. Began with wealthy whites c. Uncultured = people closer to nature, savage VI. The changing concept of culture a. Many social scientists reject the culture vs. uncultured concept of culture b. Broad view of culture – as a people’s entire way of life c. High culture vs. pop culture i. Everyone has culture, but are cultured in different ways d. Material vs. symbolic culture i. Reflects different kinds of human activity ii. Very fine line between them e. Culture can have multiple levels of meaning i. Micro-level: socialization of a child by a parent, more specific ii. Macro-level: puritanical roots of the U.S. as explanation of exportation of democracy, more generalizable
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20 August 2010 I. Spillman a. Culture is the process of meaning-making i. Understanding of what a symbol is ii. Is a process takes time iii. Humans actively create meaning iv. Something people engage in v. Process through language, emotion, etc. b. Results are subjective i. Difficult to replicate ii. Not verifiable iii. People are not articulate about their emotions II. Griswold: the cultural diamond a. Approaches to studying meaning b. Cultural objects, producers, receivers, social world i. Economic, political, and social issues c. Sub-Culture i. Culture shared and actively participated in by a minority of people within a broader culture 1. Share same values of larger culture d. Counter Culture i. Challenge norms and beliefs of the majority, but still part of larger culture e. Ethnocentrism i. Tendency to look at the world through their own culture 1. Believe your culture is dominate f. Cultural Relativism i. Belief that concepts and values of culture cannot be understood in another culture 23 August 2010 Classic Approaches I. Why do we act the way we do? a. Structure or agency i. Structure: economy, politics, society; constraining/enabling force that channels how you may act ii. Agency: free will b. Most people in the U.S. say they have more agency than structure
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II. Marx a. Alienation: estranged labor, no control b. Fetishism c. Dominant ideology d. Argues all human action is 100% structure
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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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Test 1 Lecture Notes - SOCI 3010: Sociology of Culture Test...

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