Chapter Two: Culture
Culture: The way of life of people. Includes the shared and human-created strategies for adapting and responding to one's surroundings, including the people and other creatures that are apart of those surroundings. ·
Human created strategies include, the invention of physican objects such as cars, and motor bikes to transport, values defining what is right and good, beliefs about the world & how things operate, a language to communicate, and rules guiding behavior in any situation. ·
Sociologists face 3 challenges in defining a cultures boundaries: Describing a culture, determining who belongs to a culture, and identifying the distinguishing markers that set one culture apart from others. ·
Once sociologists think that they have identified a clear marker, they always find exceptions to those, and see that the marker is not unique to one culture.
Culture as a Rough Blueprint
Culture is a bluepring that guides, and in some cases, even determines behavior. ·
Mostly, people behave as they do because it seems natural and they know of no other way. ·
Even with culture being a "blueprint" people who share a culture are not exact replicas of one another; this makes it difficult to describe a culture and determing who belongs to it.
Cultural Universals and Particulars
George Murdock distinguished between cultural universals and particulars. ·
Cultural Universals: The things that all cultures have in common; such as natural resources, and the developed responses to the challenges og being human and living with one another. ·
Cultural Particulars: The specific practices that distinguish cultures from one another. Example: All people become hungry, and all cultures have defined certain items and objects as edible. ·
All cultures provide formulas for expressing social emotions. ·
Social Emotions: Feelings that we experience as we relate to other people such as empathy, grief, love, guilt, jealousy and...
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