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SOC 222: Cultural Norms and Values

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Eric Davis

on 11 July 2015

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Transcript of SOC 222: Cultural Norms and Values

Helps explain and justify who gets what and why in a way that supports and maintains the status quo

Marx: capitalist society has
dominant ideology that serves interests of ruling class

In United States, not easy to
identify singular “core culture”
Dominant Ideology
Collective conceptions
of what is good,
desirable, and proper...
or bad, undesirable,
and improper
Viewing people’s behavior from the perspective of their own culture

Requires serious and unbiased effort to evaluate norms, values, and customs in light of their distinctive culture
Cultural Relativism
Established standards of behavior
maintained by a society

Norms governing everyday behavior
Norms deemed highly necessary
to the welfare of a society
Formal Norm (Laws)

Norm that generally has been written down and
that specifies strict punishments for violators
Informal Norm
Generally understood norm
but not precisely recorded
Values and Norms
Tendency to assume that
one’s own culture and way of life represent the norm or are
superior to all others

Ethnocentric value judgments serve to devalue groups and to deny equal opportunities
Penalty or reward for
conduct concerning
a social norm
pay raises, medals,
words of gratitude
fines, threats,
stares of contempt
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