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Chapter 2 key terms


the ways of thinking, the ways of acting, an the material objects that together form a people's way of life


people who interact in a defined territory and share a culture

culture shock

personal disorientation when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life


anything that carries a particular meaning recognized by people who share a culture.


a system of symbols that allows people to communicate with one another.

cultural transmission

the process by which one generation passes culture to the next.

Sapir-Whorf thesis

the idea that people see and understand the world through the cultural lens of language.


culturally defined standards that people use to decide what is desirable, good, and beautiful and that serve as broad guidelines for social living.


specific ideas that people hold to be true.


rules and expectations by whih a society guides the behavior of its members.


norms that are widely observed and have great moral significance.(ex. sexual taboos)


norms for rountine or casual interaction. (ex. greetings, dining etiquette).


knowledge that people use to make a way of life in their surroundings.

hunting and gathering

the use of simple tools to hunt animals and gather vegetation for food.


the use of hand tools to raise crops.


the domestication of animals.


large-scale cultivation using plows harnessed to animals or more powerful energy sources.


the production of goods using advanced sources of energy to drive large machinery.


the production of information using computer technology.

high culture

cultural patterns that distinguish a society's elite.

popular culture

cultural patterns that are widespread among society's population.


cultural patterns that set apart some segment of a society's population.


a perspective recognizing the cutural diversity of the United States and promoting equal standing for all cultural traditions.


the dominance of European (especially English) cultural patterns.


emphasizing and promoting African cultural patterns.


cultural patterns that strongly oppose those widely accepted within a society.

cultural integration

the close relationships among various elements of a cultural system.

cultural lag

the fact that some cultural elements change more quickly than others, disrupting a cultural system.


the practice of judging another culture by the standards of one's own culture.

cultural relativism

the practice of judging a culture by its own standards.

cultural universals

traits that are part of every known culture.


a theoretical approach that explores ways in which human biology affects how we create culture.


_________ is a way of life, shared by members of a society. It shapes how we act, think, and feel.

Culture shock

We experience ________ __________ when we enter an unfamiliar culture and are not able to "read" meaning in our new surroundings.

Culture shock

We create _______ _______ for others when we act in ways they do not understand.


Culture relies on ________ in the form of words, gestures, and actions to express meaning.


__________ is the symbolic system by which one generation transmits culture to the next.


__________ are abstract standards of what ought to be. (ex. equality of opportunity).


______ are specific statements that people who share a culture hold to be true.


_________ guide human behavior.

mores and folkways

two types of norms: _________, which have great moral significance and ________, which are matters of everyday politeness.


T/F Values and norms (standards for how we should behave) reflect ideal culture, which differs from real culture (what actually occurs in everyday life).


Culture is shaped by ____________.

Sociocultural evolution

We understand technological development in terms of stages of ____________ ____________.

hunting and gathering, horticulture and pastoralism, agriculture, industry, postindustrial information technology.

Name the stages of sociocultural evolution (5):

Culturally Diverse Society

We live in a __________ ________ ________. This is due to our history of immigration.

high culture and popular culture

Diversity reflects differences in social class that set off __________ __________ from __________ ___________.


___________ is based on differences in interests as well as life experiences.


____________ is an effort to enhance appreciation of cultural diversity.


___________ is strongly at odds with conventional ways of life.

invention, discovery, diffusion

Cultural change results from __________, _________, and __________.


the process of creating new cultural elements (ex. telephone).


involves recognizing and understanding more fully something already in existence.


the spread of objects or ideas from one society to another. (ex. musical styles).

Cultural lag

____________ _____________ results when some parts of a cultural system change faster than others.


_________________ links people to their society but can cause misunderstanding and conflict between societies.

Cultural relativism

_______________ ____________ is increasingly important as people of the world come into more and more contact with each other.


T/F Global cultural patterns result from the worldwide flow of goods, information, and people.

Structural-functional approach

The ______________ ______________ _____________ views culture as a relatively stable system built on core values. All cultural patterns play some part in the ongoing operation of society.

Social-conflict approach

The ___________ ____________ __________ sees culture as a dynamic arena of inequality and conflict. Cultural patterns benefit some categories of people more than others.


_____________ explores how the long history of evolution has shaped patterns of culture in today's world.


T/F Culture can limit the choices we make.


T/F As cultural creatures, we have the capacity to shape and reshape our world to meet our needs and pursue our dreams.

A) multicultural

Of all the world's countries, the United States is the most: A) multicultural B) culturally uniform C) slowly changing D) resistant to cultural diversity.

D) nonmaterial culture

Ideas created by members of a society are part of: A) high culture B) material culture C) norms D) nonmaterial culture

C) anything that has meaning to people who share a culture.

Sociologists define a symbol as: A) any gesture that divides a population B) any element of material culture C) anything that has meaning to people who share a culture D) any pattern that causes culture shock.

B) individuality

U.S. culture holds a strong belief in: A) the traditions of the past B) individuality C) equality of condition for all D) all of the above are correct

C) mores

Cheating on a final examination is an example of violating campus: A) folkways B) symbols C) mores D) high culture

B) judging another culture using the standards of your own culture

Which of the following is a description of ethnocentrism? A) taking pride in your ethnicity B) judging another culture using the standards of your own culture C) seeing another culture as better than your own D) judging another culture by its own standards.

D) cultural patterns that set apart a segment of a society's population

Subculture refers to: A) a part of the population lacking culture B) elements of popular culture C) people who embrace high culture D) cultural patterns that set apart a segment of a society's population.

A) the Southwest

Which region of the United States has the largest share of people who speak a language other than English at home? A) the Southwest B) the Northeast C) the Northwest D) the South

D) agriculture

In human history, the "dawn of civilization" took place with the development of: A) hunting and gathering B) pastoralism C) industry D) agriculture

B) the social-conflict approach

Which theoretical approach focuses on the link between culture and social inequality? A) the structural-functional approach B) the social-conflict approach C) the symbolic-interaction approach D) the sociobiology approach

Nonmaterial culture

the ideas created by members of a society (ex. democracy, cannot be physically touched)

Material culture

refers to physical things (ex. cheeseburger, clothing, etc.)(can be physically touched)


____________ is a shared way of life or social heritage.


T/F Neither society or culture could exist without the other.


T/F No way of life is "natural" to humans.


Animal behavior is determined by ____________, biological programming over which the species has no control.


T/F Only humans rely on culture rather than instinct to ensure their survival.

symbols, language, values, and norms

Though cultures vary greatly, they all have common elements including: (4)


T/F Humans sense the surrounding world and give it meaning.


T/F Human capacity to create and manipulate symbols is almost limitless.


T/F Entering an unfamiliar culture reminds us of the power of symbols.


T/F Culture shock is really the inability to "read" meaning in unfamiliar surroundings.


T/F Culture shock is a two-way process.


T/F Symbolic meanings vary within a single society.

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