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Culture and Society

UNDERSTANDING CULTURE, SOCIETY AND POLITICS


Society

 Came from the French word “societas” which means


companionship
 It is a highly structured system of human organization that
also follows common laws, traditions, values and customs
Society
 Auguste Xavier Comte
 French philosopher that
dubbed as “the first
philosopher of science”
 “Father of Sociology”
Structural Functionalism

 It is a sociological theory stating that the society is a


framework that sees society as a complex system of puzzle
pieces and those pieces work together to promote solidarity
and stability
 It is why schools, government, hospitals and church have their
own function to perform in society
Conflict Theory

 It is a sociological theory stated by Karl Marx that the society


is in a state of perpetual conflict because of competition for
limited resources. It also holds that social order is maintained
by domination and power
Culture

 It is defined as the norm and social behavior found and


practiced in human societies
 It is the complex whole which encompasses beliefs, practices,
values, attitudes, laws, norms, artifacts, symbols, knowledge
and roles that a person learns and shares as a member of the
society
Culture

 It refers to an organization of phenomena that is dependent


upon symbols and includes acts (patterns of behavior), objects
(material things), ideas (belief and knowledge), and
sentiments (attitudes and values)
Aspects of Culture

 Culture being a complex set of patterned social


interactions is learned and transmitted through
socialization or enculturation.
Aspects of Culture

 Enculturation
 It is the process a person adopts the cultural patterns he
or she lives in
 It also teaches the person what is accepted within that
society and lifestyle
Aspects of Culture

 Cultural elements are learned rather than acquired


through inheritance or through any biological processes
Aspects of Culture

 Dual Inheritance Theory


 Stated that human behavior (culture) is a product of two
different and interacting evolutionary processes:
Genetic and Cultural Evolution
 Culture = “dynamic property of individuals”
Aspects of Culture

 Most people adopt the complexities of culture from the


environment they are in because cultural behavior and
actions can only be learned through observation,
experience and education
Aspects of Culture

 Culture also requires language and other forms of


communications
Aspects of Culture

 Language is a key factor in the success of the human race


in creating and preserving culture. Without language, the
ability to convey traditions/beliefs or ideas is impossible to
be done.
Aspects of Culture

 Intercultural Communication
 It is a study that focuses on communication across
different cultures and social groups, or how culture affects
communication
Aspects of Culture

 Culture is also dynamic, flexible and adaptive. It is


constantly changing through time.
Subculture

 It is a culture being practiced within a broader variety of a


culture, but practicing its own separate values, practices,
traditions and beliefs
Real vs. Ideal Culture

 Real Culture – Actual behavior patterns exhibited by


members of the society
 Ideal Culture – These are cultural guidelines publicly
embraced by members of the society. Also defined as the
social patterns mandated by norms and values
Elements of Culture
 Norms – it is a society’s standards of acceptable behavior. It is
essential in a society because majority of the people pattern their way
of living after them
▪ Folkways – norms that are known to be the proper way of dealing with
their everyday living and social interaction
▪ Mores – these are customs or folkways that needs to be followed by
the society strictly
▪ Laws – formalized mores that are legislated, approved and
implemented in a society
Elements of Culture

 Beliefs – This are the means of the people on explaining


the sense of their experiences or ideas that they hold to
be true, factual and real.
Elements of Culture

 Symbols – these are representations or illustrations to


represent a particular belief or meaning of something.
People who share or practice the same belief or culture
attach a specific meaning to an object, gesture and
image.
Elements of Culture

 Swastika
 “marker of goodness”
 Symbolizing sun, prosperity
and good luck
Elements of Culture

 Language – it is the system of symbols that individuals


utilize to communicate, interact, and share their views or
beliefs, thus making an understanding amongst
individuals.
Elements of Culture

 Social Institutions – this consists of a group of people


who have come together for a common goal or a
purpose
Cultural Orientation

 Ethnocentrism – the belief of a certain society that their


culture is much more superior than the other ones. The
term was coined by Ludwig Gumplowicz.
 Two most popular type of ethnocentrism:
(Sinocentrism and Eurocentrism)
Ethnocentrism
Ethnocentrism
 Sinocentrism
 Belief that the Chinese culture
is much more superior than
others
 Zhonggou – “Middle Kingdom”
 Huawizhidi – lands outside the
influence of China
Cultural Orientation

 Xenocentrism – it is the belief that the products or the


culture of one is inferior to the other one
 Colloquially known as “colonial mentality”
Cultural Orientation

 Cultural Relativism – it is the idea that a person’s beliefs,


values and practices should be understood based on
that person’s own cultures, rather than be based against
the criteria of another.
 Attempting to understand one’s culture
Cultural Relativism
 Alain Locke
 First Afro-American Rhodes
scholar in 1897
 Coined the term “cultural
relativism”
Cultural Universals

 Also called as “human universal”


 It is an element, pattern, or trait that is common to all
cultures worldwide
 Examples:
Shelter, Art, Proverbs/Sayings and Personal names
Culture Shock

 It is an experience a person which may have one moves


to a cultural environment which he or she is not familiar
with
 Example: Immigrating or Migrating in other places
Cultural Leveling

 It is the process by which different cultures approach


each other as a result of travel and communication
 It eliminates the cultural differences that makes a or a
group of person unique.