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a system of symbols that can be combined in an infinite number of ways and can represent objects

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

cultural universals

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


the ways in which people use their bodies to communicate

ideal culture

the ideal values and norms of a people, the goals held out for them

real culture

the norms and values that people actually follow


the values and related behaviors of a group that distinguish its members from a larger culture


a groups whose values beliefs and related behaviors place its members in opposition to the broader culture

nonmaterial culture

a groups way of thinking (beliefs, values and other assumptions about the world)

material culture

tangible objects of a culture


the use of ones own culture as a yardstick for judging the ways of others


the standards by which people define what is desirable or undesirable , good or bad

culture war

when values clash

charles darwin

belief of survival of the fittest

cultural relativism

taken for granted orientations of life

pluralistic society

a society made up of many different groups

value contradictions

values that contradict each other


norms that are strictly enforced

cultural leveling

the process by which cultures become similar to one another

natural selection

survival of the fittest created by charles darwin

positive sanction

a reward or positive reaction

cultural diffusion

the spread of cultural characteristics

negative sanction

an expession of disapproval for breaking norms


norms that are not strictly enforced


substitutes for gestures


a norm so strong that often brings revulsion if violated

seven basic elements of nonmaterial culture

norms, values, language, beliefs, behaviors, symbols, gestures


tools, skills or procedures necessary to make and to use those tools

american values defined by robin williams

achievements and success
activity and work
science and technology
efficiency and practicality
material comfort
racism and group superiority
romantic love

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