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Transcript of Culture
What is Culture?
is the way of life of a group people who share
similar beliefs and customs.
A particular culture can be understood by looking at language, religion, daily life, history, art, government, and the economy.
The Earth is divided into culture regions. Each culture region includes countries that have certain traits in common. They may share similar economic systems, forms of government, and social groups. Their histories, religions, and art forms may share similar influences
Seven Elements of Culture
7. Arts and
center or birthplace
ideas begin and
from which they
*typically hard to
trace to one origin
*developed over a
long period of time
to a specific
person or group
that arises from
Creates social structure by
organizing its members into
small units to meet basic
Family is the most important unit of social organization.
Through the family, children learn how they are expected to act and what to believe.
This is a typical family in an industrial society.
several generations living in one household,
working and living together: grandparents, aunts, uncles,
cousins. Respect for elders is strong.
rank people in order of status, depending on
what is important to the culture (money, job, education,
Language is a key element in a
Through language, people
communicate ideas and experiences
and pass on cultural values and
All cultures have a spoken language
(even if there is no developed forms
People who speak the same language often share the same culture.
Some societies, however, include large groups of people who speak different languages. India, for example, has more than 700 languages.
Large groups of languages having similar roots.
ex. Romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese).
Each language can have several different dialects.
Religion helps people answer basic
questions about the meaning and
purpose of life. It supports the values
that a group of people consider
Religious beliefs vary around the world.
the belief in no god or gods
the belief in one god
the belief in many gods
Religious practices such as prayers and rituals vary from one culture to another.
Struggles over religious differences are a problem in many countries. These troubles often find their roots in the past.
In many cultures, however, religion enables people to find a sense of identity.
i & Norms
Arts & Entertainment
Technology is an important part of culture.
As human beings use natural resources or alter the surface of the earth,
they produce unique cultural landscapes that reflect specific cultures
Cultures change by both internal and external influences.
Internal: new discoveries, inventions, technologies.
External: contact with other cultures.
occurs when skills, arts, ideas, habits, and institutions of one
culture come in contact with another.
the process by which a cultural element is transmitted across
distance from one group or individual to another. This often
occurs through migration or through the exchange of goods and
the restriction of contact with outside cultures in order to limit
the spread of ideas. This occurs when repressive governments
seek to control transportation and communication in and out of an
area in order to control the population of the area.
With more than 200 independent countries existing in the world today, it is important to understand
what characteristics defines a country
1. clearly defined
the land, water, and natural resources within its boundaries.
the people; the size of the population does not matter.
freedom from outside control
the institution through which a society makes and enforces its public
policies and provides for its common good.
Government is the institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policies and provides for its common good.
These needs include keeping order within a society, protecting the society from outside threats, and providing some services to its people.
the relationship between the
central government and
smaller internal units of
Each government system or political system can be classified according to its structure and its basis of authority.
: one central government runs the nation.
Local governments have only the powers given them
by the central government.
: some powers are given to the national government
while other powers are reserved for more local
: smaller political units kee their sovereignty and
give the central government only very limited power.
the source of a government's
authority; where does it get it
power to govern.
: the leader(s) hold all or nearly all of
: ruler/ruling group holds power by
force usually relying on the military for
: government tries to control every
part of society.
: kings/queens. The most common kind of authoritarian government throughtout history.
: people have supreme power, government
acts by and with the consent of the governed.
: all citizens have a direct voice
in the functions of government.
: citizens choose
representative to carry out the functions of
How societies use limited resources
to satisfy the wants and needs of
Any economic system must answer
three basic questions
1. What (and how many) goods and services will
2. How will these products be produced?
3. How will the products and the wealth gained
from their sale be distributed?
Types of Economic Systems
people produce most of
what they need to survive
farming, herding, make
their own clothing/tools).
is the buying and selling
of goods and services;
gives great freedom to
individuals and groups;
is the primary form today.
government controls what/
how goods are produced
and what they cost.
Individuals have little
Individuals make some
economic decisions and
the government makes
The products of the human
They help us pass on the culture's
is a belief or behavior
passed down within a group or
society with symbolic meaning or
special significance with origins in
is a group-held belief about
how members should behave in a given context or situation. These are informal understandings that govern society's behaviors and promote a great deal of social control.
Examples of Social Norms:
*women have to wear clothes that cover their torso in public
(definitely a norm in most countries; not a norm for some tribes in Africa)
*women covering their faces
(norm in Muslim societies; not a norm in Western societies)
*greeting someone when you see them for the first time during the day
*staring at people you do not know
(considered rude in the U.S.; normal in other societies)
*Respect for elders
*using titles of respect for elders or people you do not know well
*offering your seat to elders
*males holding doors for females and allowing them to enter first
*domestic violence not allowed
(norm in the U.S; not a norm in some other countries)