cult ch2 notes

cult ch2 notes - CHAPTER 2 CULTURAL EVOLUTION Manners...

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CHAPTER 2 – CULTURAL EVOLUTION Manners differ across cultures as people are socialized to different sets of norms and customs How manners change over time Elias argues that Western Europe, and likewise other modernizing cultures, have been transformed as the manners of the aristocracy slowly trickled down to govern the behaviour of the lower classes as well; people became “civilized,” as a growing set of rules and norms came to regulate the behaviours of people across all classes of society One reason manners have changed over time is because people’s views of what is healthy have also changed, some differences in manners of the past simply reflect changing norms that are quite arbitrary as to what is considered polite Cultures are not monolithic and frozen entities but are fluid and constantly evolving as new ideas emerge and conditions change; the fact that cultures do often change and evolve, and that psychological processes likewise change and evolve, underscores a theme in this book experiences shape our psychology Where Does Cultural Variation Come From? Understand cultural variation by considering a variety of different forces that come into play Ecological and Geographic Variation One way that we can consider how cultural variation comes to be is to consider the ecologies within which people live, different environments affect the ways that people go about living their daily lives, kinds of foods that are available within a given ecology will affect the kinds of foraging behaviors that people will engage in Ecological differences can have some more indirect effects on cultures as well; different physical ecologies do not just affect the diets of people; the different foraging behaviors can also come to affect how the societies are structured and the values that people come to adopt Cultural variation in sex roles can arise from the different ecologies within which people live; in those cultures in which the environment is harsh and requires courage and physical prowess to secure a living(e.g., in places where large game is hunted, or risky deep-sea fishing is performed), cultures of masculinity that value strength and toughness of males are more likely to emerge; in contrast, in cultures in which the environment is more benign and food is plentiful and more easily acquired, then more androgynous sex roles will more likely emerge Small Differences Can Have Large Effects o Sometimes what might seem to be small variations in ecologies can lead to dramatically different cultures, especially as they unfold over time o Jared Diamond book on cultural and geographic variability, Guns, Germs, and Steel ; How was it that Pizarro and his vastly outnumbered band of soldiers succeeded in overthrowing the Incan empire? Why didn’t the Incans defeat Pizarro, or why didn’t the Incans go over to conquer the Spanish in Europe instead? o
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cult ch2 notes - CHAPTER 2 CULTURAL EVOLUTION Manners...

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