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Aisha Pittman

on 3 September 2014

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Transcript of Culture

What is Culture?
What is culture shock?
Qualitative vs. Quantitative
What level of sociological analysis lets us see small group interactions? (Hint: zoom lens)
Sociological Imagination
In order to see things in a new way, we should use our __________ mind, so that we are “free” of assumptions and opinions.
Chapter 1 Recap!
What is Culture??
Culture is the entire way of life for a group of people.
It is hard for us to see our own culture, so we may not recognize the extent to which it shapes and defines who we are
It includes things such as language, standards of beauty, hand gestures, styles of dress, food, and music.
Culture is everywhere…from American culture to classroom culture.
Culture is learned. It is passed from one generation to the next through communication—not genetics.
An adopted baby will be accustomed to the culture of the family that adopts them, not the parents that that gave birth to them.
Ethnocentrism is when a person uses their own culture as a standard to evaluate another group or individual, leading to the view that cultures other than one’s own are abnormal.
In other words, it is when someone thinks their culture (way of living) is better than the “other.”

Can you think of some examples?
Have you ever been ethnocentric?
Americans frequently get blamed for ethnocentrism.
Cultural relativism is the process of understanding other cultures on their own terms, rather than judging according to one’s own culture.
When studying any group, it is important to try to employ cultural relativism because it helps sociologists see others more objectively.
Cultural Relativism
Use your
sociological imagination
beginner's mind!
What is American Culture? What does it mean when people say that something or someone is "Americanized?"
Material culture includes the objects associated with a cultural group, such as tools, machines, utensils, buildings, and artwork.
A physical object to which we give social meaning.
Archaeologists often use this term to refer to artifacts or concrete objects left by past cultures.
Material Culture
Symbolic Culture
Symbolic culture includes ways of thinking (beliefs, values, and assumptions) and ways of behaving (norms, interactions, and communication).
One of the most important functions of symbolic culture is it allows us to communicate through signs, gestures, and language.
OMG, LOL…I <3 U. Ur my bff 4eva! :D Aight, g2g ttyl! Muahhh xoxoxoxo

LMAO! ILY2 :-p
Language is a system of communication using vocal sounds, gestures, and written symbols.
This is probably the most significant component of culture because it allows us to communicate.
Symbolic Culture - Language
Language is so important that many have argued that it shapes not only our communication but our perceptions of how we see things as well.


Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
, which is the idea that language structures thought, and that ways of looking at the world are embedded in language, supports this premise. Language or words affect the way we see things.
are shared beliefs about what a group considers worthwhile or desirable; these guide the creation of norms.
Values and Norms
are the formal and informal rules regarding what kinds of behavior are acceptable and appropriate within a culture.
Norms are specific to a culture, time period, and situation.
Norms can be either formal, such as a law or the rules for playing soccer, or informal, which are not written down and are unspoken.
Types of norms can also be distinguished by the strictness with which they are enforced.
A folkway is a loosely enforced norm that involves common customs, practices, or procedures that ensure smooth social interaction and acceptance.
Types of Norms:
Do you “go against” any common folkways?
A more is a norm that carries greater moral significance, is closely related to the core values of a group, and often involves severe repercussions for violators.
Types of Norms:
A taboo is a norm engrained so deeply that even thinking about violating it evokes strong feelings of disgust, horror, or revulsion for most people.
Types of Norms:
are positive or negative reactions to the ways that people follow or disobey norms, including rewards for conformity and punishments for norm violators. Sanctions help to establish social control, the formal and informal mechanisms used to increase conformity to values and norms and thus increase social cohesion.
How Do We Enforce Norms?
is a group within society that openly rejects and/or actively opposes society’s values and norms.
is a group within society that is differentiated by its distinctive values, norms, and lifestyle.
is a group within society that openly rejects and/or actively opposes society’s values and norms.
Dominant, Subcultures, & Countercultures
Have a great weekend!! See you next week.
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