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SOAN101 What is Culture F14

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Julie Jenkins

on 20 January 2015

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Transcript of SOAN101 What is Culture F14

What is Culture?
Discuss different definitions & uses of the term 'culture'
Identify the components of culture
Discuss the characteristics of culture
Consists of...
Sets of Knowledge
What People Think & Say
World View
Construction of Reality
Patterns of Behavior
What People Actually Do

Interactions in specific social contexts
Roles in interactions
Characteristics of...
...as learned
How is culture transmitted?
through socialization
Learned...but also contested and debated
...as shared
By members of a group
But how do we define a group?
Different levels of groupings...
regional, religious, ethnic, political, interest based, organization based
...as encompassing
all people are members of a cultural group...and often more than one
...as constructed, produced, practiced, circulated
...subject to change
...as adaptive
change to the ways of living that is better fitted to survive and reproduce in its environment.
interaction with environment
perception/interpretation of reality-
how we should relate to the world, other people, etc
perception/interpretation of reality-
how we classify/categorize
how we think people should behave
beliefs about the goals or way of life that is desirable
"Vehicle for conception"- Geertz
something that means, stands for, or calls to mind something else
--shapes our behaviors/ways of thinking
--sets the boundaries/rules
Education (schools)
Economic (capitalism)
Politics (government, judicial, police)
"guided reinvention of culture"
"shaped by the systems within which they were created, distributed, evaluated, taught, & preserved"
Degrees of being shared-
distribution of meaning
...as Integrated
Through internal debates
Through Interactions with other Groups
Issue is rate of change
The Politics of Tradition
...but factor in power into socialisation/shared
--most powerful group's ability to create consent/agreement without force
"Culture(d)"- Who decides?
"Its a Small World Phenomenon"
non-human primates
-lacks displacement
-lacks arbitrariness
How does language affect the way we see and understand the world? How does it restrict our thought process? How does it affect the way we conduct ourselves with others?
Sapir-Worfe Hypothesis
-- idea that language has the power to shape the way we see the world
Strong Version:
change the grammar should change the thought process
Weak Version:
not determinative, but a factor that directs attention to some aspect of experience rather than others..
'A culture' need not be homogeneous, or even particularly coherent. Instead of assuming far-reaching cultural sharing, a 'replication of uniformity', we should take a distributive view of cultures as systems of
meaning...(look at culture) in more processual terms. There is a 'management of meaning' by which culture is generated and maintained, transmitted and received, applied, exhibited, remembered, scrutinised and experimented with." Hannerz
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