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Sociology Unit 2: Culture
Terms in this set (33)
the language, beliefs, values, norms, behaviors, and material objects that characterize a group of people and are passed down from one generation to the next
the physical objects that distinguish a group of people, such as their art, buildings, weapons, utensils, machines, hairstyles, clothing, and jewelry
a group's way of thinking (including its beliefs, values, and other assumptions about the world) and doing; common forms of behavior, including language and other forms of interaction
the disorientation people experience when they come in contact with a fundamentally different culture and can no longer depend on their taken-for-granted assumptions about life
the use of one's own culture as a yardstick for judging the ways of other individuals or societies, generally leading to a negative evaluation of their values, norms, and behaviors
not judging a culture but trying to understand it in its own terms. Example: Americans find bullfighting barbaric, but it is accepted by Spaniards
ideas people attach meaning to and communicate with, such as gestures, language, values, norms, sanctions, folkways, and mores
a system of symbols that can be combined in an infinite number of ways and can represent not only objects but also abstract thought
a movement of the body to communicate with others; shorthand ways to convey messages without using words
rather than objects and events forcing themselves into our consciousness, it is our language that determines our consciousness (Language shapes culture, not the other way around)
a standard by which people define what is desirable or undesirable, good or bad, beautiful or ugly. Example: Thin waists, curvy hips, and large chests are preferred female body features in American culture.
expectations, or rules of behavior that reflect and enforce behavior. Example: Women are expected to shave their legs in American culture.
either an expression of approval given to people for upholding norms or an expression of disapproval for violating them
an expression of approval given to people for upholding norms. Examples: trophies, smiles, high-fives, promotions
an expression of disapproval given to people for violating norms. Examples: frowns, thumbs-down, "the bird", disgusted faces
a specified time or place in which people are allowed to break norms. Examples: Mardis Gras or red-light districts
a norm that is not strictly enforced. Example: a man not wearing a shirt in public
a norm that is strictly enforced because it is thought essential to core values or the well-being of a group. Example: a man not wearing pants in public
a norm so strong that it brings extreme negative sanctions and even revulsion if someone violates it. Example: bestiality
the values and related behaviors of a group that distinguish its members from the larger culture; a world within a world. Examples: Potterphiles, soccer players, peanut farmers
a group whose values, beliefs, norms, and related behaviors place its members in opposition to the broader culture
a society made up of many different groups, with contrasting values and orientations to life. Example: The US is a nation of immigrants, but its people share core values, such as individualism, hard work, material comfort, democracy, and efficiency, to name a few
values that together form a larger whole. Example: values for hard work, education, individualism, and material comfort all combine to crate the value of success.
values that oppose each other; to follow one means to come in conflict with another. Example: Americans' value of group superiority opposes their values of equality, freedom, and democracy
a people's ideal values and norms; the goals held out for them. Example: The American Dream of limitless material success.
the norms and values that people actually follow. Example: Most Americans don't actually achieve the American Dream.
a value, norm, or other cultural trait that is found in every group. There are universal activities (singing, playing games, story-telling, marrying), but there is no universally accepted way of doing any of them.
a culture's tools, or in advanced material cultures the skills or procedures necessary to make and use those tools
an emerging technology that has a significant impact on social life. Example: printing press or the internet
when human behavior lags behind technological innovations. A group's material culture usually changes first, with the nonmaterial culture lagging behind. Example: The school year is still only nine months long, though there is no longer a great agricultural need for children in the summer.
the spread of culture traits from one group to another, including both material and nonmaterial traits. Examples: Sushi, Mexican, and Chinese restaurants are found in the US. Coke and Pepsi have become global companies.
the process by which cultures become similar to one another; refers especially to the process by which Western culture is being exported and diffused into other nations. Examples: globalization of capitalism and McDonald's
the extreme rationalization of American society, in which a task is broken down into smaller, efficient tasks, in order to create a predictable outcome. The four main factors are efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control.
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