AS Sociology Session 3 Building blocks of culture

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Information about AS Sociology Session 3 Building blocks of culture
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Published on September 29, 2009

Author: liamgr

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AS Sociology @ MidKent College:  Session 2: The building blocks of culture AS Sociology @ MidKent College Remember these guys?:  Remember these guys? Culture, Norms & Values:  Culture, Norms & Values How we interpret images like this depends very much on who we are, where we come from, and how we came to be there It also depends on factors that we may not be consciously aware of but have made us what we are and given us our viewpoint on the world and other people Sociologists refer to Culture, Norms & Values to explain these attitudes and beliefs The ‘building blocks’ of culture:  The ‘building blocks’ of culture 4 Norms:  Norms Norms are the rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours. Norms can be defined as attitudes and behaviours common to members of a particular group, or what they believe is “normal”. These rules may be explicit or implicit. Norms:  Norms Our ability to function in society depends upon the existence of these societal norms They can vary over time, cultural context and in their degree of enforcement Within a society different groups may construct their own norms Norm or not?:  Norm or not? Driving on the left Cleaning your teeth morning & night Opening doors for ladies Farting in public Wearing clothes in public Smiling at strangers Picking your nose while driving Speaking the same language as others Saying please & thank-you Slide8:  Failure to stick to the rules can result in severe punishments, the most feared of which is exclusion from the group Norms are often transmitted by non-verbal behaviour, They may also be transmitted through stories, rituals and role-model behaviour. What is a value?:  What is a value? 9 Values:  Values Values are related to the norms of a culture, but they are more general and abstract than norms. They are the general principles or beliefs which underlie the norms which form our social rules Values often relate to what a society or culture regards as good or bad and what it regards as important Societies can prioritise many different values Norm or Value?:  Norm or Value? Being independent Keeping quiet in the library Respecting the sanctity of human life Not driving while drunk Sharing Acquiring wealth Conforming Not beating children What is a role?:  What is a role? 12 Roles:  Roles A pattern of behaviour, routines or responses we carry out in everyday life People can adopt different roles at different points in their life They may also have multiple roles Roles tend to be associated with particular expectations about behaviour and influenced by both values and norms Roles & Social Structures:  Roles & Social Structures Role Conflict:  Role Conflict Sometimes our roles conflict with each other A common example is the role conflict that many women experience In modern society women have to manage conflicting role of ‘traditional mother’ who stays at home and ‘working woman’ who maintains a career after becoming a mother What is status?:  What is status? 16 Status:  Status Can be held by an individual or group Associated with prestige and social standing as perceived by others An individual’s status may vary across social contexts (e.g. one may be a high status member of a low status group) Ascribed status is given to a person (often at birth) Achieved status is earned by individuals through talent or effort Ascribed & Achieved Status: What’s the difference?:  Ascribed & Achieved Status: What’s the difference? Prince William Fernando Torres What is a custom?:  What is a custom? The ‘building blocks’ of culture: summary:  The ‘building blocks’ of culture: summary 20 Each of these components play a role in what we call ‘culture’ They make up and contribute to the way we live at any given time Different cultures express them in different ways, but all cultures have them

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