What Makes Us Strangers When We Are Away from Home?
Culture – is an abstract concept. You can’t touch it or see most of it, and much of it can’t be measured. But it has molded each of us into whom and what we are. The way we dress, what we eat for dinner and how we eat it, how we speak, what color we paint our houses, and what we think about these things.
- is dynamic and adaptive.
COMPONENTS of CULTURE
1. Cognitive Process
Learning, knowledge and perceiving
What people think, how they think, what they believe, and what they value a part of culture. 2. Behaviors
Human behavior can be observed, described and includes all of the things we do. 3. Material Creations
What people create from artifacts to features is product of human cultural activities. Ethnographers
Records and describe the artifacts and features of living cultural groups Archaeologists
Describes artifacts and feature the made of peoples by the past culture. CULTURAL PROCESSES
Leslie White – an anthropologist pointed out that the culture is learned, shared and transmitted to future generations primarily by symbolic system. The most symbolic system used by the humans is language – both spoken and written. Extra somatic Context – where as the word “soma” is derived from the Greek word that means pertaining to the body, and “extra” in this case means outside
- culture is outside the physical body; it is not genetically inherited Enculturation – the process of learning one’s culture while growing up in it. Homogenous Cultures – most ideas, knowledge, values, behavior and artifacts are shared by most individuals. Heterogenous Cultures – there are fewer shared components. Blueprints – culture supplies meanings, understandings, and ideas and is transmitted symbolically. Ward Goodenough has written that “culture, then, consists of standards for deciding what is, standards for what can be, standards for deciding how one feels about it, standards deciding what to do about it, and standards deciding how to go about doing it. Additional Features of Culture
1. Culture is Shared
A social group shares among its members most of what constitutes its culture. A member of a culture will recognize and be able to articulate a specific element of her culture even if that individual does not herself hold her culture’s attitude or exhibit a specific behavior. 2. Culture is Cumulative, Dynamic, Adaptive, and Diverse
Culture is constantly changing. Changes internally through the fickleness of popular pads – the latest music, foods, slang, clothing fashions. It changes internally through innovations and inventions – new ideas and combinations of old ideas to create new things. Culture changes because of external influences through process of diffusion or voluntary borrowing of items and ideas from other cultures. 3. Culture is Integrated
All of the parts of a culture are intermingled. This integrated nature of culture creates a pattern, and it changes over time and serves as guides and standards of behavior for members of the society. IDEAL Culture and REAL Culture
Ideal culture – what peoples believe they should do
Real culture – what people can be observed to do.
Subcultures and Ethnic Groups
Subcultures – a smaller group within a larger cultural complex
Microculture – is sometimes used to denote even smallest groups in which some cultures are shared. Ethnic groups – are subculture that is characterized by members sharing a particular culture of origin, often one from another country.
Race – biologically: a group within a species that shares a cluster of genetically determined traits.
Culturally: a social construct based on perceived cultural differences. Cline – the variation of a biological trait along a geographic continuum. Plasticity – the pliability or malleability of a biological features. Skin Color Clines
Melanin – a pigment in an outer layer of the skin; it is responsible for the skin color and blocks UVB from changing lower layers of the skin. UVB – ultraviolet radiation from the sun
Ultraviolet Radiation – a part of the electromagnetic energy from the sun that is not visible to the human eye. Folate – a metabolite essential for sperm and embryonic neural tube development that is destroyed by UVB. Stature and Plasticity
Biological means that traits determined by genes are influenced in the way they develop and grow. Race as a Social Construct
The process of distinguishing between us and them leads to classifying others into groups.