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Culture and Differentiate Between Material, Nonmaterial Culture, Gestures and Language.

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1. Define culture and differentiate between material and nonmaterial culture.
Culture is a socially learned and transmitted behavior. Ideas, norms, values and beliefs are largely dependent on the kind of culture we belong to as the products of this culture.
The non material aspects of any culture are its beliefs, customs, philosophy, patterns and ways of communication (verbal and non-verbal) and its government. The material aspect of culture consists of the physical. These are houses, food items, factories, raw materials and technologies. Every culture is the product of this interaction between its' material and non material aspects.
2. Define and differentiate between gestures and language.
Language-system of symbols that can be strung together in an infinite number of ways for the purpose of communicating. Gestures are the process of transmitting ideas and thoughts without using words, but using body language, facial expression or tone of voice. Languages are mostly verbal, which involve the use of words; while communication using gestures is non-verbal (ie. tone of voice, facial expression). To counter our tendency to use our own culture as a tool for judgment, we can practice cultural relativism. Practicing cultural relativism allows us to understand another culture on its own terms. We can analyze how the elements of culture fit together without judgment. Ethnocentrism - the tendency to use one’s own culture as a yardstick for judging the ways of other societies. It can create in group loyalties or lead to harmful discrimination. An example of ethnocentrism as used in the travel industry, we hate SPAM. We’ll NEVER rent, sell or give away your information to ANYONE. An example of cultural relativism, What members of one culture might view as strange and bizarre in another culture (for example, polygamy, body tattooing, or strict dietary laws) can be understood best within that culture's context. Values are those ideas of what is desirable in life. Values are the standards by which people define good and bad. Caring for others is an example. Norms describe rules of behavior that develop out of a group’s values. Example, a common group norm amongst academics is that dress is casual (with the underlying implication that what goes on in the mind is more important than what goes on the body). Sanction, positive or negative reactions to the ways in which people follow norms. Sanctions can be positive (rewarding behavior that conforms to wider expectations) or negative (punishing the various forms of deviance); and formal (as in legal restraints) or informal (for example verbal abuse). Folkways - norms that are not strictly enforced. If someone does not follow a folkway, we may stare or shrug our shoulders. Mores - norms that are considered essential to our core values. Examples are moral attitudes, habits, and manners. Taboos - norms so strongly ingrained that even the thought of its violation is greeted with revulsion. These “cultural universals”, values, norms, or other cultural traits are found everywhere. Although there are universal human activities, there is no universally accepted way of doing any of them. Humans have no biological imperative that results in one particular form of behavior throughout the world.

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