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Transcript
The Meaning of Culture
What does culture mean to you?
Definition of Culture
 Consists of all the shared products of human
groups.
 These products include
 Physical objects
 Beliefs
 Values
 Behaviors
ALL SHARED BY A GROUP
CULTURE
Material Culture
Nonmaterial Culture
The physical objects that people
create form a group’s
material culture.
Abstract human creations form
a group’s nonmaterial
culture.
Artifacts:
Ideas
Work practices
Political system
Family patterns
What can an artifact tell us about a
culture?
 Artifacts contain many clues about a society’s culture.
 Anthropologists search for artifacts to learn about
cultures of past societies.
What kind of information can anthropologists gain by studying
artifacts?
Think of an example…..
Society v. Culture
Society: is a group of
mutually inter-dependent
people who have
organized in such a way as
to share a common
culture and feeling of
unity.
Huh? In simple terms…
Society consists of people and
Culture consists of the products
that people create.
Components of Culture
Components of Culture
Culture is both learned and shared
Physical
Objects
buildings
computers
clothing
books
Symbols
Language
church service
US
class ring
Speaks American
handshake
From English
Lincoln Memorial.
Values
Norms
good v. bad
right v. wrong
desirable v.
undesirable
expectations of
behavior
cover you mouth
when you yawn
Types of Norms
 Folkways: are norms that do not have great moral
significance attached to them. They are common
customs of everyday life.
Ex. Holding a door for someone, saying “bless you” to a
sneeze
 Mores: have great moral significance attached to them.
Ex. Adultery, lying, cheating
 Law: is a written rule of conduct that is enacted and
enforced by the government.
Cultural Ps
 Product: Anything created by the culture for members of
that culture, tangible or intangible, such as food, art, books,
educational system, and laws.
 Practices: What people do, when and where of social
interactions, what they do with their products, etc.
 Perspectives: The attitudes, beliefs, or values of people in a
culture.
Complexity of Culture
 Culture Traits- Use of forks and knives, saying
hello to someone you see in the hall, tackling
someone in a football game
 Culture complexes- Table manners, the game
of football
 Culture Patterns- Sports, Religion, Family life
Teaching American Culture
 How hard would it be to teach someone from another
country about our culture?
 Why?
Example: American Christmas
 Questions to ask myself:
 What makes American Christmas
different from Christmas around the
world?
 What sort of cultural products,
practices, symbols, language, norms,
language, etc. make up American
Christmas?
 How could I share this with someone
who has recently moved to this country?
American Christmas…What Makes it
Different?
American Santa
Santa in Holland
•Rides on horseback
•Puts toys in shoes
•Has a sleigh driven by flying
reindeer
•Brings toys down our chimney
Cultural Products, Practices, Symbols
 Norms: Thanking someone for a gift, RSVPing
to a party, greeting someone, etc.
 Products: gifts, ornaments, candy canes, etc.
 Practices: caroling, decorating the Christmas
tree, wrapping gifts, watching Christmas
movies, spending time with family and friends,
Secret Santa, White Elephant parties, etc.
 Symbols: mistletoe