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Culture and Society

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What is culture? Culture consists of the beliefs, behaviors, objects, and other characteristics common to the members of a particular group or society. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Culture and Society


1
Culture and Society
2
What is culture?
  • Culture consists of the beliefs, behaviors,
    objects, and other characteristics common to the
    members of a particular group or society. Through
    culture, people and groups define themselves,
    conform to society's shared values, and
    contribute to society.

3
The Importance of Culture Copy this
  • Culture is essential for our individual survival
    and communication with others
  • We are not born with the information we need to
    survive
  • Culture is essential for the survival of
    societies
  • It establishes our laws and rules for interaction

4
Nature vs. Nuture
  • Nature is our biological and genetic makeup
  • Nurture is derived from our social environment
  • We are not born knowing kindness or hatred
  • Humans do not have instincts but we do have
    reflexes

An instinct is biologically determined behaviour
patterns common to all members of a species
A reflex is biologically determined involuntary
response such as sneezing
Drives are biologically determined impulses
common to all members of a species that satisfy
needs such as food, water, safety, and shelter
5
Cultural Baggage
  • Since humans cannot rely on instincts for
    survival, culture is a tool kit for survival
  • Our tool kit is divided into two parts

6
Material Culture
  • Consists of the physical or tangible creations
    that members of a society make, use, and share
  • Items begin as raw materials and transformed into
    usable items through technology
  • We use these items first for survival such as
    shelter
  • Beyond survival, we make use and share objects
    that are interesting and important to us

7
Maslows Hierarchy of Needs
8
Nonmaterial Culture
  • Consists of the abstract or intangible human
    creations of society that influence peoples
    behaviour

Family Patterns
Values
Language
Rules of Behaviour
Beliefs
Political Systems
9
Nonmaterial Culture
  • Central component of nonmaterial culture is
    beliefs
  • Beliefs are the mental acceptance or conviction
    that certain things are real or true
  • May be based on faith, tradition, experience,
    scientific research, or a combination of these
  • We also have beliefs in our material culture

10
Cultural Universals
  • All human beings face the same basic needs such
    as food, water, and shelter
  • Thus we engage in similar activities that
    contribute to our survival
  • Cultural universals are customs and practices
    that occur across societies
  • The universal categories created by
    anthropologist George Murdock are present in all
    cultures

11
Cultural Universals
  • Appearance such as bodily adornment and hairstyles

12
Cultural Universals
  • Activities such as sports, games, dancing, and
    jokes

Q. Why are fish so smart? A. They always go
around in schools.
13
Cultural Institutions
  • Social institution such as religion, law, and
    family

14
Cultural Universals
  • Customary practices such as cooking, folklore,
    gift giving, and hospitality

15
Cultural Universals
  • These general customs and practices may be
    present in all cultures in one form or another
  • Specific forms may vary and could be
    misinterpreted between cultures such as telling a
    joke

16
Cultural Universals - Pros
  • Considered useful because they ensure a smooth
    and continual operation of society
  • Society must satisfy its basic needs and degree
    of safety in order to survive
  • Children and other new members of society must be
    taught the ways of the group
  • Society must settle disputes between its members

17
Cultural Universals - Cons
  • May not be the result of functional necessity for
    a society
  • The practices of one society may be imposed over
    members of another
  • A conquering nation may use its power to impose
    its behaviours and beliefs on those defeated
  • Assimilation and conformity of indigenous peoples
    by those who hold economic, political, and
    religious power
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