Concepts of Sociology

Topics: Culture, Sociology, High culture Pages: 2 (541 words) Published: May 14, 2013
Concepts of Sociology Essay.

Values, beliefs, behaviours, practices, and objects that constitute a peoples way of life. This is referred to as Culture. It takes two forms; material culture and non-material culture. Material culture being a physical trait and non-material culture being a non-physical trait. A prime example of a physical trait for a material culture in Ireland for example would be our national flag or a shamrock. This represents our culture and is recognised world-wide as being associated with us. Physical traits such as these are known as symbols of our culture. Having said that, a good example of a non-physical trait of culture would be the language of that culture, or the belief system. It’s something we don’t physically wear on our person but we know it is there. Our religion, our native tongue; Gaeilge. Each culture has their own non-physical trait. Culture consists of the beliefs, behaviours, objects, and other characteristics common to the members of a particular group or society. Through culture, people and groups define themselves, conform to society's shared values, and contribute to society. Thus, culture includes many societal aspects: language, customs, values, norms, mores, rules, tools, technologies, products, organizations, and institutions. This latter term institution refers to clusters of rules and cultural meanings associated with specific social activities. Common institutions are the family, education, religion, work, and health care. Popularly speaking, being cultured means being well-educated, knowledgeable of the arts, stylish, and well-mannered. High culture—generally pursued by the upper class—refers to classical music, theater, fine arts, and other sophisticated pursuits. Members of the upper class can pursue high art because they have cultural capital, which means the professional credentials, education, knowledge, and verbal and social skills necessary to attain the “property, power, and prestige” to...
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