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Flashcards in Soc 100 - Culture I Deck (23)
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What is culture? How is it manifest? What are we looking at when we analyse culture? How do we describe features of different cultures?



Culture & Practice: How does culture affect the way people behave? What is the connection between values, beliefs, and specific cultural practices?



Cultural Integration: What role does culture play in integrating individuals into society? How much are we affected by the culture we live in?



Cultural Difference: Can we talk about a single, monolithic culture? How do we explore cultural differences and multiculturalism?



What do sociologists look at when analysing culture?

Folkways-Informal norms; guide everyday behaviour, e.g. politeness, Nacirema hygiene.�Mores-More strictly-enforced moral norms, e.g. prohibitions against murder.Taboos-Things that it’s forbidden to do or touch – e.g. public excretion for Nacirema�Rituals & Practices - Behaviour that follows on from folkways and morals – e.g. washing.


How does Miner use a symb int approach when describing the nacirema?

Miner’s description of the Nacirema emphasises connections between beliefs (mores, folkways, customs etc) and specific rituals and practices.A belief in the need for cleanliness leads to specific patterns of behaviour around cleanliness.Miner therefore uses broadly symbolic interactionist approach:He looks at the meanings people attribute to objects and to one another, and uses these symbolic meanings to explain cultural actions.


What are symb ints interested in when looking at culture?

Symbolic interactionists are interested in cultural values and beliefs, and use them to explain social developments.


What does it mean to say Protestantism is predestinarian?

you can’t do enough good works to justify salvation; you’re saved or damned at birth. Individual therefore looks for signs of being saved in success�.


What did Protestants think of the material world?

Moreover, material world is totally sinful: we should abstain from all its pleasures and impose rational divine scheme on it.


In general, where were the protestants able to become richer?

PredestinarianAbstaining from the material worldBecause Protestants rejected pleasure, they were able to accumulate wealth and become richer.


How does Weber go about analyzing religion (symb int)?

He identifies the core beliefs of a religion: what values does it prioritise? What is commanded and what is forbidden?He explains how these beliefs are manifest in a set of practices: how do the beliefs guide actions? How can they be seen in everyday behaviour?He extrapolates from this to explain an overall culture or spirit of capitalism – a collected, established set of practices.


What are some problems with the symb int approach to culture?

Symbolic interactionist approach may try to explain too much by cultural values.


What are some difficulties of cultural explanations in general?

Is there only one source of cultural values? How do we weight relative influence?How far are individuals genuinely motivated by religious belief? How closely does an individual’s belief approximate ideal?How culturally homogeneous are societies? Can we say that whole groups of people behave in the same way?


How does Struct funct approach culture in contrast to symb ints?

Structural functionalists ask how and why cultural values are inculcated into individuals.Whilst symbolic interactionists explain the particular details of a society by its cultural values, structural functionalists try to understand why we’d have a culture at all.


What do st funct think culture should be seen as?

Culture should be see as a form of social integration:By encouraging people to behave in certain ways, it ensures uniformity.If beliefs and behaviour patterns are the same, social order benefits; heterogeneity (difference, variety) = threat to society


What is the I in AGIL? (struc funct)

Integration: ensure members conform to relatively homogeneous set of beliefs and values.


What do mass media and religion do for society according to parsons? (st fu)

they preserve and transmit values held collectively.�


What does Parson argue about where cultural systems lie?

Parsons argues that cultural systems lie at the root of other social forms: patterns that shape conditions of individual action.


What reveals the basic ruels of the social game?

Analysis of culture, language, values etc thus reveals the basic “rules of the social game”�


How do the rules of the social game affect social interactions?

doesn’t determine outcome, but does limit how it might turn out.�


What did Sapir and Whorf develop?

Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis:Our thought and our picture of reality is expressed in a set of concepts, ideas, and words.If we don’t have a word for something, we can’t think about it; the way we define a word is taken from society.�


How is Latin and Greek morality a good argument for the linguistic relativity hypothesis?

Latin and Greek didn’t have a word for morality in the modern sense of absolute right and wrong; their moral philosophy focused on virtue, i.e. characteristics expected of noble citizen.Thus, our individual thoughts are expressed through socially-defined terms.


What do the words or phrases "Policeman, Businessman, Mankind, Rights of Man" have to do with the linguistic relativity hypothesis?

Androcentric or sexist language uses words that denote males to describe humanity as a whole.Similarly, designating authority figures as “man” (policeman, instead of police officer) pushes us to assuming that such authoritative roles are inherently masculine.