sociology - chapter 2

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what is culture?

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Sociology

33 Terms

1

what is culture?

the language, beliefs, values, norms, behaviors and even material objects that characterize a group and are passed from one generation to the next

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2

material culture

the material objects that distinguish a group of people, such as their art, buildings, weapons, utensils, machines, hairstyles, clothing and jewelry

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3

non-material culture

a groups way of thinking (including beliefs, values, and other assumptions) and doing common patterns of behavior (also called symbolic culture)

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4

culture shock

the disorientation that people experience when they come in contact with fundamentally different culture and can no longer depend on their taken for granted assumptions about life

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5

ethnocentrism

the use of one's own culture as a yard stick for judging the ways of other individuals or societies, generally leading to a negative evaluation of their values, norms, and behaviors

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6

cultural relativism

not judging a culture but trying to understand it

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7

what are some components of symbolic culture?

gestures, languages, values, norms, sanctions, folkways, mores

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8

gestures

movement of the body to communicate with others (ex. thumbs up)

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9

language

a system of symbols that can be combined in an infinite number of ways and can represent not only objects but also abstract thought

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10

values

the standards by which people define what is desirable or undesirable, superior or inferior, good or bad, pretty or ugly

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11

norms

expectations of "right" behavior (ex. men proposing)

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12

sanctions

either expressions of approval given to people for following norms or expressions of disapproval for violating them (either pos or neg)

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13

folkways vs. mores

folkways - norms that are not strictly enforced (ex. Mardi Gras) mores - norms that are strictly enforced, essential to core values or the wellbeing of the group (ex. stealing, rape, killing)

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14

taboo

a norm that is so strong that it brings extreme sanctions, even revulsion if violated (ex. polygamy, pornography)

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15

subculture

the values and related behaviors of a group that distinguish its members from the larger culture; a world within a world (ex. geek, prep, surfers)

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16

counterculture

a group who's value, beliefs, norms, and related behaviors place its member in opposition to the broader culture

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17

pluralistic society

a society made up of different groups (ex. religions, racial ethnic groups, interest groups)

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18

core values

the values that are central to a group, those around which a group builds a common identity (ex. material comfort, hard work)

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19

value contradictions

values that contradict one another; to follow the one means to come into conflict w/ one another

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20

value clusters

values are not independent units ; some cluster together to form a larger whole (ex. success = education)

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21

value clashes

challenges in core values that are met with strong resistance by the people who hold them dear, they see change as a threat to their way of life, an undermining of both their present and their future (ex. gender roles, same sex marriages)

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22

culture wars

clash in values between traditionalists and those advocating for change

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23

distorting lens

values and their supporting beliefs are lenses through which we see the world. the view that these lens provide are often of what life ought to be like, not what it is (ex. individualism, freedom)

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24

ideal culture

a people's ideal values and norms and the goals held out for them

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25

real culture

a value, norm, or cultural trait that is found in every group

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26

technology

includes the skills or procedures necessary to make those tools

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27

new technology

emerging technologies of an era that have a significant impact on social life

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28

cultural lag

lagging behind on technological innovations

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29

cultural diffusion

the spread of cultural traits from one group to another; includes both material and nonmaterial (sushi; hammocks; chopsticks)

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30

cultural leveling

process by which cultures become similar to one another (western into other cultures)

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31

a group beliefs, values and patterns of behavior are known as

nonmaterial culture

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32

traveling to a foreign country may cause _______ due to cultural differences

culture shock

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33

countercultures, such as the Hell's angels

stress views that oppose mainstream cultural views

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