Culture Notes - Notes compiled by Mary Lynn Damhorst TC...

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Notes compiled by Mary Lynn Damhorst, 8/20/07 TC 165 CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE Culture vs. Cultured All people have culture. Culture is not something held only by the elites of a society, such as only the wealthiest, most educated, or most sophisticated in understanding the arts. What is Culture? A. A system of learned behavior patterns which are characteristic of the members of a society (Hoebel, 1958). Note the emphasis on learning of behaviors or ways of doing things. Culture is learned, and individuals learn culture through the ongoing process of socialization . Parents, families, schools, peers, workplaces, etc. all socialize individuals to ways of doing things. We find differences across cultures in dress, language, food preferences, and other behaviors in part because these behaviors are learned -- not knowledge that is innate, instinctual, or determined by genetic programming. Cultural patterns are characteristic behaviors and often include a complex array of choices that are common and less common in a culture. A culture may afford more than one way of doing the same thing. Hence, diversity in behaviors may be found in some aspects of any culture. B. A complex whole that includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, customs, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by members of a society (Linton, 1936) . Linton emphasized that culture is a complex whole -- a network of behaviors related to all aspects of life. Dress is shaped by and reflects many characteristics in any culture, so dress is a complex map of cultural characteristics . C. Scupin (1998) proposed that culture includes both abstract and concrete components. -- abstract components include: the meanings of symbols, events, activities, or action and how the meanings are created and selected -- concrete components include the forms of action, behavior, event, activity, or artifacts.Dress may be a concrete object such as a shirt, a pair of shoes, or a hairstyle, but those concrete artifacts develop meanings in a culture. The fashion process, situations in which we use dress, and groups that are associated with wearing of types of dress all bring meaning to those artifacts.
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D. Culture is: What people know (mentifacts) What people do (sociofacts) What people make (artifacts) (Spradley, 1972) a. Mentifacts -- ideas, ideals, values, knowledge , and how we know. Culture shapes how people think about things.
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This note was uploaded on 10/11/2011 for the course TEXTILES A 165 taught by Professor Damhorst during the Spring '11 term at Iowa State.

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Culture Notes - Notes compiled by Mary Lynn Damhorst TC...

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