Chapter_2

Chapter_2 - CHAPTER 2 What is Culture? Why is it so...

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Unformatted text preview: CHAPTER 2 What is Culture? Why is it so important to understand peoples cultural differences? How does culture support social inequality? Culture The ways of thinking, the ways of acting, and the material objects that together form a peoples way of life Non-Material Culture Includes ideas created by members of a society Material Culture Refers to physical things Culture is a shared way of life or social heritage Society Refers to people who interact in a defined territory and share a culture Neither society nor culture could exist without the other Culture shapes What we do What we think How we feel Elements that we commonly but wrongly describe as human nature US and Japanese cultures stress achievement and hard work US society values individualism Japanese society values collective harmony Culture Shock Personal disorientation when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life No way of life is natural to humanity Animal behavior is determined by instinct Biological programming over which each species has no control History took a crucial turn with the appearance of primates Have the largest brains relative to body size of all living creatures 12 million years ago, primates evolved along two different lines Humans Great apes Distant human ancestors evolved in Central Africa Stone Age achievements marked the points when our ancestors embarked on a distinct evolutionary course Made culture their primary strategy for survival Homo Sapiens Thinking Person Modern Homo Sapiens Larger brains Developed culture rapidly Used wide range of tools and cave art One indication of culture is language Globally, experts document 7,000 languages Coming decades may see the disappearance of hundreds of languages Why the decline? High-technology communication Increasing international migration Expanding global economy All are reducing global diversity Though cultures vary greatly, they have common elements Symbols Language Values Norms Humans sense the surrounding world and give it meaning Symbols Anything that carries a particular meaning recognized by people who share a culture Human capacity to create and manipulate symbols is almost limitless Entering an unfamiliar culture reminds us of the power of symbols Culture shock is really the inability to read meaning in unfamiliar surroundings Culture shock is a two way process Traveler experiences culture shock when meeting people...
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This note was uploaded on 01/06/2012 for the course SOC 1301 taught by Professor Emekaohagi during the Fall '11 term at Collins.

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Chapter_2 - CHAPTER 2 What is Culture? Why is it so...

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