DSST Anthropology as a Discipline

Culture is a system of symbols acting to mediate

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Culture is a system of symbols , acting to mediate between the individual and his/her world. Culture provides us with an interpretive sieve for making sense of the world, motivating our actions and behavior (this operates at unconscious and conscious levels of awareness). Whatever the experience of reality that lies behind the religious symbol may be, it is above all the experience of the sacred or holy, which belongs essentially to any concept of religion. The historical study of religions has shown that it is fundamentally the symbol that mediates and forms for man's religious consciousness the reality and the claim of the holy. Language is a system of conventional spoken or written symbols by means of which human beings, as members of a social group and participants in its culture, communicate . So are cryptic ciphers and algebra. The aim of phonology is to determine the principles that govern sound structure in human language. It deals with the abstract representation of sound, rather than the properties of the physical speech signal (Phonetics). Phonological theory is concerned with questions like: 'Why does no language ban words that start with a consonant, but some languages ban words that end in a consonant?' 'Why does every language have a [t] or a glottal stop (or both)?'
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Morphology is concerned with the principles that regulate word structure in language, and how that structure relates to other components (e.g. syntax, phonology). Morphology is concerned with questions such as: 'Which principles determine the syntactic category of words?' 'Can phonological restrictions change the order of morphemes?' An essential similarity between society and culture involves the core concept of status . With regards to culture, it is the position from which members engage in social practices. With respect to society, it is the interrelationships between statuses that comprises the social structure. Community is to culture what a group of people is to society , in that culture is a special case of community and society is a special case of a group of people. Culture and society also have indefinite life spans and therefore 'stand-alone viability' . Fundamentally, culture refers to a way of life. Since we are referring to the overall ways persons live their lives, social practices are the basic building blocks of culture. Accordingly, without social practices and members to enact them, there can be no actual culture. Social practices refer to the repertoire of behavior patterns which in a given culture, constitute what there is for members to do. Social practices also refer to the various ways in which a given behavior pattern can be done. As a phenomenon that has a part-whole relationship, social practices can have other social practices as components. Some instances of social practices are having dinner and attending a professional conference. Ralph Linton, an anthropologist from the first half of the 1900's, wrote that culture is a combination of
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Culture is a system of symbols acting to mediate between...

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