How people use their limited resources to satisfy their wants and needs. Artifacts: Distinct material objects, such as architecture, technologies, and artistic creations. Social institutions: Patterns of organization and relationships regarding governance, production, socializing, education, knowledge creation, arts, and relating to other cultures. In an anthropological sense, culture is society based on the values and ideas without influence of the material world.
Culture is like the shell of a lobster. Human nature is the organism living inside of that shell. The shell, culture, identifies the organism, or human nature.
Culture is what sets human nature apart, and helps direct the life of human nature. Anthropologists lay claim to the establishment of modern uses of the culture concept as defined by Edward Burnett Tylor in the midth century. Malinowski collected data from the Trobriand Islands. Descent groups across the island claim parts of the land, and to back up those claims, they tell myths of how an ancestress started a clan and how the clan descends from that ancestress.
Malinowski's observations followed the research of that found by Durkheim. Radcliffe-Brown put himself in the culture of the Andaman Islanders. His research showed that group solidification among the islanders is based on music and kinship, and the rituals that involve the use of those activities. In the words of Radcliffe-Brown, "Ritual fortifies Society". Marcel Mauss made many comparative studies on religion, magic, law and morality of occidental and non-occidental societies, and developed the concept of total social fact , and argued that the reciprocity is the universal logic of the cultural interaction.
He searched the universal principals of human thought as a form of explaining social behaviors and structures. French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu 's influential model of society and social relations has its roots in Marxist theories of class and conflict. Bourdieu characterizes social relations in the context of what he calls the field , defined as a competitive system of social relations functioning according to its own specific logic or rules. The field is the site of struggle for power between the dominant and subordinate classes.
It is within the field that legitimacy —a key aspect defining the dominant class—is conferred or withdrawn. Bourdieu's theory of practice is practical rather than discursive , embodied as well as cognitive and durable though adaptive. To explain this concern, Bourdieu explains habitus and field.
Habitus explains the mutually penetrating realities of individual subjectivity and societal objectivity after the function of social construction. It is employed to transcend the subjective and objective dichotomy.
Sociology Essay | Bartleby
The belief that culture is symbolically coded and can thus be taught from one person to another means that cultures, although bounded, can change. Cultures are both predisposed to change and resistant to it. Resistance can come from habit, religion, and the integration and interdependence of cultural traits.
Cultural change can have many causes, including: the environment, inventions, and contact with other cultures. Several understandings of how cultures change come from anthropology. For instance, in diffusion theory, the form of something moves from one culture to another, but not its meaning. For example, the ankh symbol originated in Egyptian culture but has diffused to numerous cultures.
Its original meaning may have been lost, but it is now used by many practitioners of New Age religion as an arcane symbol of power or life forces. A variant of the diffusion theory, stimulus diffusion , refers to an element of one culture leading to an invention in another. Contact between cultures can also result in acculturation. Acculturation has different meanings, but in this context refers to replacement of the traits of one culture with those of another, such as what happened with many Native American Indians.
Related processes on an individual level are assimilation and transculturation , both of which refer to adoption of a different culture by an individual.
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Griswold outlined another sociological approach to cultural change. Griswold points out that it may seem as though culture comes from individuals — which, for certain elements of cultural change, is true — but there is also the larger, collective, and long-lasting culture that cannot have been the creation of single individuals as it predates and post-dates individual humans and contributors to culture.
The author presents a sociological perspective to address this conflict. Sociology suggests an alternative to both the view that it has always been an unsatisfying way at one extreme and the sociological individual genius view at the other. This alternative posits that culture and cultural works are collective, not individual, creations.
We can best understand specific cultural objects The logic is a bit circular, but illustrates how culture can change over time yet remain somewhat constant. It is, of course, important to recognize here that Griswold is talking about cultural change and not the actual origins of culture as in, "there was no culture and then, suddenly, there was". Because Griswold does not explicitly distinguish between the origins of cultural change and the origins of culture, it may appear as though Griswold is arguing here for the origins of culture and situating these origins in society.
This is neither accurate nor a clear representation of sociological thought on this issue. Culture, just like society, has existed since the beginning of humanity humans being social and cultural.
Society and culture co-exist because humans have social relations and meanings tied to those relations e. Culture as a super-phenomenon has no real beginning except in the sense that humans homo sapiens have a beginning. This, then, makes the question of the origins of culture moot — it has existed as long as we have, and will likely exist as long as we do.
Cultural change, on the other hand, is a matter that can be questioned and researched, as Griswold does. Culture theory , developed in the s and s, sees audiences as playing an active rather than passive role in relation to mass media. One strand of research focuses on the audiences and how they interact with media; the other strand of research focuses on those who produce the media, particularly the news. Computer-mediated communication CMC is the process of sending messages—primarily, but not limited to text messages—through the direct use by participants of computers and communication networks.
By restricting the definition to the direct use of computers in the communication process, you have to get rid of the communication technologies that rely upon computers for switching technology such as telephony or compressed video , but do not require the users to interact directly with the computer system via a keyboard or similar computer interface. To be mediated by computers in the sense of this project, the communication must be done by participants fully aware of their interaction with the computer technology in the process of creating and delivering messages.
Given the current state of computer communications and networks, this limits CMC to primarily text-based messaging, while leaving the possibility of incorporating sound, graphics, and video images as the technology becomes more sophisticated. Cultural activities are institutionalised; the focus on institutional settings leads to the investigation "of activities in the cultural sector, conceived as historically evolved societal forms of organising the conception, production, distribution, propagation, interpretation, reception, conservation and maintenance of specific cultural goods".
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the journal, see Cultural Sociology journal. Main article: Karl Marx.
Main article: Max Weber. Main article: Georg Simmel. Main article: Alfred Reginald Radcliffe-Brown. Main article: Marcel Mauss. Further information: Trans-cultural diffusion.
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