lec_020810 - Sociology 101 Introduction to Sociology Monday...

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Sociology 101 Introduction to Sociology Monday February 8, 2010 Culture lecture, presented by Daina Harvey We used to think of culture as limited to the sorts of things we might now think of as "high culture," such as art and classical music, but now culture is a more inclusive concept and extends to such things as graffiti artists and pop performers (e.g., Lady Gaga). Culture consists of the values, norms, material goods, practices, and ways of seeing and thinking about the world that members of a given group hold. Values are ideas about what is desirable, good, proper, or bad, wrong, evil. But don't all societies share similar values? Yes and no. There are what we call cultural universals. These are ideas or beliefs shared by all cultures or better yet held by all (or most). But many values are not quite so widespread, so we can't just conclude all societies share similar values. Norms are the rules people are expected to observe in a given range of social situations, so that when people violate norms, there is usually some type of sanction. If men work and women take care of the home, we might punish women for entering the work force. There are also proscriptions against certain activities, such as having sex with dead people – most cultures have rules against this. The part of the definition of culture most people are probably most familiar with are goods (material products ). These are simply the physical objects we associate with particular groups of people. Cultural products can go global, such as the Zhuzhu, which was most popular Christmas toy in 2009. Other cultural products remain more local, as the sorts of homes we see in Norway and Japan can be quite different from what we're used to seeing in the US. Practices are simply ways of doing things. You can think of norms as formal ways of doing things and practices as informal. Example: 3rd Rock from the Sun clip on tipping (in restaurants). Why was it funny, or why was it supposed to be funny? There are several scripts involved, including the script that if you antagonize your waiter, s/he might do something to your food. Example: You run into a Japanese man asking for the name of block in US. That sounds strange, because here the blocks don't have names. Streets have names, but blocks do not, so the man's question seems strange. If you went to Japan, however, and asked for the name of a street, you'd be informed that the streets have no names. Rather, blocks have names (or numbers). If you want to find a particular house on a particular block, you should keep in mind houses are numbered
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This note was uploaded on 11/20/2011 for the course SOCIOLOGY 920:101 taught by Professor Carr during the Spring '10 term at Rutgers.

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lec_020810 - Sociology 101 Introduction to Sociology Monday...

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