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rableisleadingtogreatertensionsoverissuesofbilingualisminAmericansociety.Thischapter

showswhybilingualismissuchanimportanttopicanddescribeswhatculturemeans,ascul-

turebothshapesandisshapedbyallthesub-detiesandcomplexitiesofpeople'slives.The

termculturemeansdifferentthingstodif-ferentpeople.Inthemindsofmanypeople,itisas-

sociatedwithsuchactivitiesasattendingtheopera,listeningtoclassicalmusic,andgoingto

artmuse-ums.Thisperspectivelinksculturetothewealthy,affluent,orupperclassesandis

referredtobysomesociologistsaseliteculture.Thus,accordingtothisdefinition,relativelyfew

ofushaveculture.Ifyouwantedtobecomepartofthisculture,youmightbeginbystudying

Mozart,Rembrandt,andChaucer.Incontrasttotheelitecultureoftheupperclasses,frequent

referenceismadeinthesocialsci-encesandhumanitiestopopularculture:music,art,dance,

radio,linguistictrends,andliteratureproducedandconsumedbymembersoflowerandmiddle

classes.Examplesofpopularcultureinclude:soapoperas,rapmusic,wrestlingmatchesand

base-ballgames,slang,PlayboyandPlaygirlmagazines,andMillerorBudLightbeer.Inthis

case,culture,incontrasttobeingcreatedbyandfortheelite,iscon-structedbyandshared

amongcommonpersonssuchasyouandme.Sociologistsandculturalanthropologistsdonot

denythatthereareculturaldifferencesamongdif-feringsocialclassesorthatcultureincludes

bothoperaandbaseballgames.Toasociologist,however,acultureisasystemofideas,values,

beliefs,knowl-edge,norms,customs,andtechnologysharedbyal-mosteveryoneinaparticular

society.Asocietyisagroupofinteractingpersonswholiveinaspecificgeographicalarea,who

areorganizedinacoopera-tivemanner,andwhoshareacommonculture.Acultureisa

society'ssystemofcommonheritage.Eachofushasaculturebecausewewereallraisedina

society.Weexpressourculturecontinuouslyinourdress,food,work,language,recreation,and

otheractivities.Welearnourculturefromourfore-bearsandcontemporariesandthenwepass

itontofuturegenerations.Ingeneralterms,aculturecanbesaidtoincludeallthehuman

phenomenainasocietythatarenottheproductsofbiologicalinheritance.Culturein-cludesall

learnedbehavior,notjustthebehaviorofthewealthyorthehighlyeducated.Itconsistsofboth

dienonmaterialaspectsofasociety,suchaslanguage,ideas,andvalues,andthematerial

aspects,suchashouses,clothes,andtools.Boththeskillsneededtomakeaproductandthe

productitselfarepartsofculture.Sociologistsdonotjudgecultureonthebasisofthetasteor

refinementofdiesocietyofwhichitisapart.Bowlingandfoxhunting,rockgroupsand

symphonyorchestras,woodcarvingsandmuseumpaintings—allarehumanproducts,andall

reflectculture.Cultureisoneofthemostcomplexsociologicalandanthropologicalconcepts

andoneofthemostcentralconceptstounderstandinghumanbehavior.Assuch,a

comprehensionoftheelementsofcultureisvitallyimportanttoallinterpersonalrelationships,

frompersonallifetooccupation.Indeed,atime-honoredanthropologicalaxiomisthat"inorder

toworkwithapeopleitisessentialtounderstandtheir