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Chapter 3 The Deep Structure of Culture: Lessons from the Family

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Kait Clark

on 17 April 2014

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Transcript of Chapter 3 The Deep Structure of Culture: Lessons from the Family

• Social institutions of family, state, and religion carry the messages that matter most to people
• These three deep structure institutions help people to make important decisions that reflect on how they live their life
• These three institutions are there to work in harmony, preserve wisdom, traditions and customs that make cultures unique from one another.
• Culture through family, church and state help to define features within your identity

The Structure of Culture
A universal experience that can be found in every culture.
Family helps to maintain social regulation and continuity.
Definition of Family:
forms an economic unit and care for children
consider their identity to be significantly attached to a group of people

Mass Media:
• Computers, cell phones, and television now can connect people creating these global networks that can travel all around the world.
• Western and non-westernized cultures are being influenced into a global community that consists of a Western culture.
• Globalized media sources have created a different set of values for families throughout the world.
o Example: It is harder for families to maintain traditional patterns with these new ideas being influenced by globalization
• Globalization has influenced the idea for people to leave their families and move from one country to another to find new jobs with higher pay.
• When these people travel they are creating this new character of their family.
• This is harming families to living a traditional lifestyle

Mass Media and Migration
Forms of Family
The Deep Structure of Culture
Lessons from the Family
• Economic changes, technological innovations, demographics and gender roles and opportunities for women have help to transform families within the United States

• We now see various types of families such as
o “Traditional” married couples
o Children living with one parent
o A heterosexual woman and man who have cohabited and have children but not married
o A single woman or man who has adopted a child

Transformation of Families Within the U.S.
Globalization and Families
• Globalization explains various sets of changes within aspects such as social, cultural, political, religious, and economic life.
• This terminology has altered the idea of traditional families for millions of people.
• Globalization is restructuring social order around the world and families are at the center of this change
• Family life, work, identity, and relationships within individuals are being transformed due to globalizing forces.
• Mass media and migration patterns have been responsible for the changes in structure of families all around the world

Functions of the Family:
• Intended to teach new members of the culture at the start of birth, what they need to know to survive and live in societal harmony

Reproductive Function:
• Most important function
• Family makes society possible

Economic Function:
• A society’s economic system and family structures are closely correlated
• All families supply the basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter

Socialization Function:
• Helps to teach children how to fit into their particular culture and learn about their core values
• Religion for children is determined by the family’s beliefs
• Families also teach obedience, responsibility, nurturing achievement, self-reliance and general independence for children

Identity Function:
• Family is the most important of all identities because it is the first institution that sends messages about identity
• Family gives knowledge about specific behaviors, customs, traditions and language that is associated with their culture
Functions of the Family
Communication, Culture, and Family
• There are a lot of similarities within cultures during early childhood because we all have the same biological needs for care, nutrition, and protection.
• Family teaches a lot about communication skills which determines how the child will connect with others

also know as “two-generation families”:
• Most typical pattern found in most Western cultures
• The daily needs of economic support, childcare, and social interaction are with the nuclear family rather than a wider set of relatives.
• Exploration and creativity are encouraged throughout this lifestyle
Extended Families
• Include other relations and generations in addition to the nuclear family. Ex: siblings of the spouses, in-laws.
• All members live within one household or at least all around the same area

Cultural Variants in Family Interactions -

3 disclaimers on the role of family in cultural interaction patterns :
1. all of the major institutions of a culture are linked.
2. families within a culture may also display a range of difference.
3. because of space considerations, no attempt to offer an in-depth exploration of the family has been made.

Gender Roles
The task of teaching what is 'appropriate' language and behavior falls on the family regardless of the culture.
• Different societies allocate different tasks and duties to mean and women and that males and females have culturally defined views of themselves of one another.
Changing Gender Roles
1. gender is a significant component to any study of intercultural communication. "Gender is important to discussion of family power, communication, and parental roles, as well as to work and family roles."
2. for a host of reasons, gender roles in families are being forced to change. "Westernization and globalization have differentially affected all families within respect to gender roles, child rearing, and maintenance of aging parents."
Individualism and Collectivism
Individualism and the Family - for Americans, individualism, as it applies to families, is partially linked to the history of the US. From earliest colonial times the nuclear family has been prominent in American culture. **also in Germany personal achievements and individual rights are emphasized.

Collectivism and the Family - an Asian/Indian proverb "An individual could no more be separated from the family than a fine from the hand." extended family members rely on each other to take care of children, provide friendship and support.
The Elderly
The family is the first institution to introduce the child to the notion of age grouping. Classifying people by age is common in all cultures "age grouping is so familiar and so important that it and sex had been called the only universal factors that determine a person's position in society."
Social Skills
"For most people, the family is the first source of socialization. Throughout families children are introduced to the expectations of society" -how families teach the child about verbal and nonverbal skills.
good examples of cultural differences can be seen in a culture's acceptance or rejections of aggressive behaviors.
Decision Making
methods and techniques people employ to make decisions is yet another actions that is learned very early in life - and most likely within the family environment.
Full transcript