standards by which people who share culture define what is desirable good and beautiful are called This is a topic that many people are looking for. amritsang.org is a channel providing useful information about learning, life, digital marketing and online courses …. it will help you have an overview and solid multi-faceted knowledge . Today, amritsang.org would like to introduce to you What is Culture?. Following along are instructions in the video below:
Right so lets talk a little bit about what culture is to sociologists in in this lecture. Were going to just talk about a few of the basic behind the study of culture from a sociological point of view and some of the basic definitions that help us to understand what culture is and how to study it from a sociological point of view. So theres two different schools of thought when were talking about culture.
And one comes from the humanities school. And the other comes from the sciences school. And theyre two really different kinds of definitions for what culture.
Is from the humanities perspective culture. Is all about art and music and interpretations of life. Its a very robust artistic type of definition and so for sociologists.
Though the study of culture is very very different than the humanities definition is but its important to note. That for sociology. The study of culture is relatively new.
We didnt place a lot of emphasis on the study of culture back in the day. However of late. We have really come to appreciate and understand the importance of culture as a foundation for understanding.
Why people do what they do so its important for us to understand what the basic elements of culture are from a sociological perspective. Now. As i said from a humanities perspective.
Those basic elements are photography. Music art opera. All of these kinds of things books right.
But for a sociologist elements of culture are much more difficult to define and pin down every culture considers its own ways of doing things as natural and therefore. Its elements of culture are considered to be normal and so from one of my very first lessons on culture from my intro to sosh geology class. I was taught these four things culture is learned culture is normative it is socially transmitted.
And it is relative which means it adapts now lets take these things one at a time. What does it mean that culture is learned well that means that we are not born with a culture gene. Its not something that we are just automatically going to have at birth.
It is something that is taught to us and its taught to us by the agents of socialization that we grow up with those primary agents. Our family our peers. The media.
Our government the workplace education religion all of those things work in tandem together to teach us our culture. We learn it from everything around us. The second thing culture is normative now what does that mean when we talk about culture being normative.
What we mean is that it is normal for you. But it is instructive for you to remember that just because your culture is normal to you doesnt mean that someone elses culture is not normal because their culture is normal to them. And so all cultures are relative in that sense culture is also socially transmitted.
Which brings us to the third aspect that i recall from my intro class without social transmission. There would be no culture. Without people around us and without those agents of socialization around us.
We wouldnt have any culture to transmit without our institutions around us teaching us our values and our norms and our customs and our traditions culture wouldnt exist so we share culture. It is socially transmitted. Learned and normative and relative to us culture also adapts over time we may not see these changes day to day.
We may not even see these changes year to year. But definitely if we look back decade to decade and and generation to generation. We can see that cultures do indeed change over time sometimes there are people in cultures.
Who would like them to stay the same for their whole entire lifetimes. But that really isnt going to ever be the case again we may not see those changes day to day.
It might be difficult for us when those changes do take place but cultures always adapt to the people who live in them all right so lets discuss some of the major components of culture. The primary element or component of culture that we need to talk about is language. Now language simply defined from a sociological point of view is an abstract system of word meanings and symbols for all aspects of culture and theres a very very important hypothesis that falls under language when were talking about how culture gets developed in a society.
And its called this up here whorf hypothesis. Now the sapir whorf hypothesis is kind of interesting because its found its way into the popular discourse. Even though these two researchers sapir and worf.
Its actually benjamin whorf and edward sapir. Didnt actually write a hypothesis at all. But this is kind of what its been called in the contemporary research.
This theory or hypothesis. If you will has been around for quite some time and essentially what it says is that theres a relationship between what we think and how we think it and how our language develops. How we think all right now.
I know thats a little bit of a mess. But there are four basic premises to the sapir whorf hypothesis. The first is language precedes thought the second language is not a given the third language is culturally determined and fourth language may color.
How we see the world so in essence. There are two really big key points. Here that you have to get the first of those is that the difference is in structures of languages among different cultures and different societies parallel differences in the thinking of the people in those cultures.
Who speak those languages and the second big point here is the structure of a language. Strongly influences. A speakers world view now to me that kind of makes a little bit of common sense right.
But we should think a little bit more deeply about what this really means this means that if you dont have language. You cant have the thought now let that settle for a minute language must come before you can think and thats a hard one to wrap your mind around. But if that is indeed true.
And we have no way of knowing it this is just a hypothesis right. Its a statement that needs to be tested. We cant test.
It we dont have any kind of scientific accurate test for this. But if we could and we found out that this was indeed true what this would tell us is that language influences. How we think and if thats the truth.
Then language is kind of like the foundation for culture. So just something to think about and this hypothesis has been debated now for several decades. The debate is not going to go away.
I think that there are many people in the world who are back and forth about what comes first language or thought and in essence. Its what we call a tautology in the field of philosophy kind of a chicken and the egg argument that cannot be proven one way or the other. But it does go to show that language is very very important to the development of a culture.
Now there are two different kinds of language. There are verbal and non verbal kinds of language of course. We all know what verbal languages.
Its when we talk to each other. But nonverbal language is equally as important in a society or a culture or in the development of a culture nonverbal communication is the use of gestures facial expressions and other visual images to communicate our meanings to each other we learn nonverbal communication. Just as we learn verbal communication and nonverbal communications are different in different cultures.
You need to know when you travel to different places of the world what nonverbal communication is appropriate and what nonverbal communication is not appropriate or you could get yourself into some serious travel sometimes the simplest little gesture can get you in all kinds of trouble in a different country for example. Here in america. Giving someone a thumbs up is a very positive.
Nonverbal communication gesture. However in australia.
That can be a very very insulting gesture to give to somebody if youre in italy. And you put your thumb out you might need a ride. But in thailand.
If you put your thumb out its a very obscene gesture. So its pretty safe to say that language both in its verbal and nonverbal forms forms the foundation of culture. Now.
There are some other important elements that we also need to discuss with regard to culture. A couple of those are material and non material. Culture material culture is items you can taste touch and feel that are representative of your culture and non material culture is the non physical products of your society.
Now the material stuff is pretty easy to grasp. This is buildings and architecture. This is jewelry art music clothing.
All of these kinds of things. Which helped to create a society are examples of material culture. So all of these things also have an influence on how you view your world.
The types of cars. You drive the types of homes you live in all of these kinds of things are part of your material culture. Non material culture.
However is a little bit more difficult to grasp. However probably for most sociologists who study culture more intriguing because this is the non physical aspects of society and here is where we find the study of symbols values rules and sanctions among other things so lets talk about norms norms are established standards of behavior which are maintained by a society and you can think of these like invisible bonds that help to form the culture of your society norms can be broken down either formally or informally. Formal norms are generally written into law and have very strict punishments that accompany them sometimes imprisonment informal norms are understood.
But not really written down types of things such as you should hold the door open for the person whos coming in behind. You norms also can take the form of mores and folkways mores are norms. Which are highly necessary to the welfare of a society.
Such as the more a that you dont kill people folk ways. However are norms that govern everyday behavior. Another non material element of culture is the sanction sanctions are penalties and rewards for conduct concerning social norms.
And they can be positive or negative. So its important to note that we positively sanction people in many different ways we give out medals and rewards. We give them words of gratitude pat on the back and pay raises and we also sanction people negatively we threaten them we put them in prison or jail.
We find them and we look at with such stares of contempt that they know that the behavior they have committed has oftentimes broken some kind of rule. I will hazard a guess that we all know what it feels like to be looked at like that by a parent and finally another element of non material culture is our values values our collective ideas about what is good desirable and proper and on the other side of that what is bad undesirable or improper values influence our behavior and they also become criteria for evaluating the actions of other people in our society. Now in a very diverse society such as america.
We have all kinds of differing competing values and it sometimes becomes a challenge to figure out which values are going to be the criteria that we use to evaluate the actions of others in our society. Its important to note again that values do change over time just as our culture changes. So do our value.
Okay. Lets just take one. Quick recap here.
We talked about what culture is some of the basic elements of culture and some of the definitions of those basic elements. We talked about culture being learned normative socially transmitted and relative or adaptive. We talked a little bit about the sapir whorf hypothesis and the importance of language.
Both verbal and nonverbal to the transmission of culture. And we also talked about norms sanctions and values as elements. Which help us to further define culture within our society.
All right i hope this helps take care bye bye. You .
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