IMPORTANT: This write-up includes only those concepts that are
part of the textbook. The
exam will test you on these concepts, along with topics discussed in the textbook by Lustig and
Koester (chapters 1 to 6) and Spirit Catches You (chapters 1 to 6). If a particular concept is
included in the Lustig and Koester textbook but not discussed in class slides (for example: Globe
Taxonomy) you will
be tested on it in exam.
Components of Culture
Dodd (1998) grouped components of culture into three layers. The inner core of culture is made
up of history, identity, beliefs, values, and worldviews; the intermediate layer consists of
activities as cultural manifestations, such as roles, rules, rituals, customs, communication
patterns, and artistic expressions; the outer layer involves the larger cultural system and includes
economic, health, educational, religious, family, and political systems.
The inner core
of culture consists of the history, identity, beliefs and values, and worldviews of
the cultural group. Every culture has a history, which is the deposit and carrier of cultural
heritage and development. Totems, archives, architecture, ancient languages, and paintings are
just some of the ways in which a culture records and expresses its heritage and tradition. The
power of origin and heritage demonstrates the continuity of a culture. Culture is passed on from
generation to generation, binding its members together with a common sense of identity.
of culture is connected to the inner core, but has more of a capacity to
change. This layer consists of activities as manifestations of culture. For instance, Technology,
material objects, roles, rules, rituals, customs, communication patterns, and artistic expressions.
involves the institutions of a culture. Institutions are the formalized systems
including religion, economy, politics, family, healthcare, and education. Those systems are
products of culture. For instance, in some Asian cultures like that of Malaysia, Singapore, or
Hong Kong, memorization or rote learning is the preferred pedagogy, whereas in Anglo- Saxon
cultures the skills of creative thinking and problem solving are more valued in the classroom.
The Process of Perception
Selection plays a major part in the larger process of converting environmental stimuli into
meaningful experience. We are bombarded with an enormous array of stimuli as part of our
everyday lives, but we are limited in the number of stimuli we can meaningfully process. This is
where the selection process helps us to discern those stimuli which are immediately or
potentially useful to us. For example, if you intend to buy a new car, you are more inclined to
pay attention to the vehicles for sale section make a decision about purchasing a car. Scholars
argue that we only notice those things to which we pay direct and focused attention, engaging
what is known as selective perception.