Ideal Culture and Real Culture

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Ideal Culture and Real Culture? Appelbaum and Chambliss (1997:42) contend that ideal culture refers to the norms and values that a society professes to hold. Henslin (2004:49-50) ideal culture describes models to emulate and which as worth aspiring to. Real culture refers to norms and values that are followed in practice. Example: Henslin (2004:49-50) notes that Americans glorify academic achievement and material success. However, most students do not graduate with honors and most citizens are not wealthy. Thus there is a gap between ideal culture and real culture. Culture Lag Culture lag refers to the tendency for culture to be slow to adapt to changes in technology. Technological change can happen over night while some times it takes culture a few generations to adapt to changes in technology (Henslin, 2004: 50). Example: When Napster provided free music exchange, the record producers argued that the practice was unfair, but yet no laws existed which made music sharing illegal.
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Unformatted text preview: This example highlights the lag between technology and social adaptation. Henslin (2004:50) calls this the distinction between material and non material culture. Material culture runs ahead of non material culture. Culture Shock As people grow, they develop a sense of what to expect in their familiar surroundings. "Culture becomes the lens through which we perceive and evaluate what is going on around us" (Henslin, 1999:36). We don't generally question these assumptions. When one travels into a completely different culture, for example, a rural village in Africa, one encounters different assumptions that might violate what we come to expect as normal. An individual suddenly immersed in a unique and unfamiliar setting experiences disorientation. This is known as culture shock (see Henslin, 2004:35). Example A rural individual who is suddenly taken to a large city...
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2011 for the course SCIE SYG2000 taught by Professor Bernhardt during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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