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Culture and Society

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Primitive Communism (classless) Slavery (masters vs. slaves) ... Communism (classless, stateless) 'Class struggle is the motor of history' Premodern societies ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Culture and Society


1
Culture and Society
  • Culturethe concept
  • Components of culture
  • Society
  • Categorizing societies
  • Premodern societies
  • Industrialized societies
  • Globalization

2
Culturethe concept
  • A shared set of norms, beliefs, and values that
    guide the social life of a group, and the
    material products of that group.
  • Becker what is it that allows us to act together
    without missteps and conflict?
  • Redfield (in Becker) conventional
    understandings made manifest in act and artifact
  • A way of life
  • Where does it come from? Becker imposed and
    invented, continuously

3
Components of culture
  • Objects (material culture)
  • Symbols (non-material culture)

4
Material culture
  • The physical artifacts or objects made by humans
    in society
  • Technology
  • the tools and techniques used in production
  • the link between culture and nature

5
Nonmaterial culture
  • Intangible products of social life

6
Two important types of ideas that give culture
the capacity to guide social life
  • Values
  • Abstract ideals
  • Ideas about what is right, good, preferred
  • Examples?
  • Norms
  • Specific principles or rules of expected
    behavior dos donts
  • Types
  • Folkways
  • Mores
  • Taboos
  • Laws

7
What are these?
8

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11
money
12
What do they all have in common?
  • They are symbols.

13
symbol
  • An item that stands for or represents another
    item
  • Words are symbols
  • Language is a system of symbols that carry
    meanings, including abstract ideas

14
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17
What do all these have in common?
  • They are signifiers.

18
signifier
  • Any vehicle of meaning
  • Can be sound, gesture, image, object, or even a
    style
  • A symbol is a type of signifier (involving
    motivation-meaning)

19
Semiotics
  • Analysis of nonverbal cultural meanings

20
Example of semiotics ritual buildings
  • Christian church with spire male-centered,
    heaven-oriented
  • Hopi kiva female-centered, earth-oriented
  • Old norm that spire was highest building
  • New urban norm of skyscraper

21
Cultural identity
  • we take our own culture for granted, assume it as
    the norm culture is an important part of our
    identity
  • this can also take the form of a subculture
    examples?
  • judging other cultures by ones own cultural
    standards is ethnocentrism
  • social scientists strive for cultural relativism
    understanding another culture by its own
    standards

22
Society
  • A group of people who live in a specific place
    with its own political authority and are aware of
    their shared identity.

23
society
  • System of interrelationships
  • A macro social structure
  • Industrialization and globalization are the main
    drift of this period of history

24
Categorizing societies
  • Marxs concept mode of production
  • Non-Marxists level of material culture
    (technology) taken as key indicator
  • Societies divided into pre-capitalist/capitalist
    by marxists, premodern/modern by non-marxists.

25
Categorizing societies
  • Mode of production
  • forces of production (technology) and relations
    of production (classes)
  • periods defined by key classes
  • primitive communism
  • slavery
  • Feudalism
  • Capitalism
  • socialism
  • Material culture
  • complexity of technology and source of energy key
  • sociocultural evolution assumed, but all levels
    still exist
  • hunting and gathering
  • agrarian
  • pastoral
  • traditional states or civilizations
  • industrial

26
Marxs Historical Materialism (vulgar version,
based on statements in A Contribution to the
Critique of Political Economy)
Communism (classless, stateless)
Socialism (dictatorship of the proletariat)
Class struggle is the motor of history
Capitalism (capital vs. labor)
Feudalism (lords vs. peasants
Slavery (masters vs. slaves)
Primitive Communism (classless)
27
Premodern societies
  • Review table 3.1

28
Hunting and gathering

29
Eating Christmas in the Kalahari
  • How is stratification minimized in a gift-based
    mode of exchange?

30
Agrarian
(

)
31
Pastoral

32
Traditional state or civilization
33
Industrialized societies

34
Industrialized societies
  • Industrialization emergence of machine
    production based on the use of inanimate power
    sources.

35
Industrialized societies characteristics
  • Rapid technological innovation (Marx sez
    capitalism causes this)
  • More non-agricultural workers than farmers
  • Urbanization
  • Nation-state

36
Nation-state
  • Political community with clearly delimited
    borders
  • Distinguished from traditional states with
    fluctuating frontiers
  • All modern societies are nation-states

37
Nation-states
38
World system globalization
  • Three worlds?
  • Product of colonialism expansion of European,
    Japanese and American power (first world)
  • Second world product of state socialism (marxist
    model)
  • Third world formerly colonized peoples now
    either poor or newly industrializing

39
globalization
  • Now clearly a World System in economic and
    political sense
  • Also cultural influencesboth ways
  • Jihad vs. McWorld (Benjamin Barber)
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