Sociology- Unit 1 - Topic 1

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  • Created on: 09-03-15 15:48
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  • Sociology Unit 1 - Formation of Culture
    • Becoming Human
      • Nature vs Nurture
      • Feral Children
      • Cultural Diversity
        • If human behaviour is dictated by nature, people would behave the same way all over the world.
          • So human behaviour is flexible and diverse
      • Conclusion
        • Nature vs nurture debate shows no signs of ending.
          • Even if biology makes us act a certain way, this will be channelled by society.
        • Sociologists suggest that if we want to explain social behaviour, then most of the answers can be found at the social and cultural level.
  • So human behaviour is flexible and diverse
  • Culture
    • Definition: learned and shared way of life; values and norms of a society of a society or group.
      • Values: beliefs we regard as important
        • Eg: Love, religious convictions and political loyalties.
      • Norms: social expectations or rules about how people should or shouldn't behave.
        • Eg: holding the door open for others, not eating the last buscuit.
        • Norms vary in their degree of seriousness.
      • Kluckhohn (1951) described culture as the distinctive 'way of life' of a group of people.
    • Types of culture
      • High culture
        • Artistic work of agreed quality.
          • Identified with highly gifted artists such as Mozart, Shakespeare or Van Gogh.
        • Sociologists, however, usually have a broader definition of culture.
          • High art is part of culture but it is not all of it.
      • Popular culture
        • Opposite of high culture.
          • Advocates of high culture look down on it as inferior, escapist and 'mind numbing'.
        • Strinati (1995) - media are largely responsible for the creation of popular culture and that consumption plays a key role in popular culture.
          • The world has become consumer orientated.
        • Some sociologists see popular culture as a positive and creative expression of the culture of ordinary people.
        • The Marxist Adorno see it as a way of socialising the masses into a passive and unquestioning set of attitudes and values.
      • Subcultures
        • As societies grow larger and more complex, it becomes difficult to talk about one culture which everybody shares.
        • Cultural diversity has led to the term multicultural society being used to describe many large-scale industrial societies.
      • Consumer culture
        • Individuals express their identity through the things they buy and use.
          • Brands have their own images and many people are happy to display various 'labels'.
        • Lury (1996) identifies 5 features of a consumer culture:
          • 1) wide range of good available
          • 2) shopping is seen as a leisure pursuit
          • 3) Different forms of shopping are available
          • 4) Being in debt is accepted as a norm
          • 5) Packaging and promotion of good is big business
      • Global Culture
        • Definition: norms, values and lifestyles shared in every country.
        • Closely linked to globalism
          • Globalisation is the increasing connections between countries and breaking down of national boundaries.
        • Some sociologists see global culture as positive, bringing people together and increasing freedom and cultural exchange.
          • Others see global culture as dominated by America
            • Ritzer - McDonaldisation
      • Multiculturalism
        • Society where different ethnic groups, religions and subcultures live harmoniously alongside one another.
    • Status and Roles
      • All members of society are given a social position by culture
        • Ascribed status: social position over which we have no choice and may well be determined at birth
        • Achieved status: Social position over which individuals have some degree of control
      • Social roles: set of expectations that is applied to a particular ' social status'
    • Sociology Unit 1 - Formation of Culture
      • Becoming Human
        • Nature vs Nurture
        • Feral Children
        • Cultural Diversity
          • If human behaviour is dictated by nature, people would behave the same way all over the world.
          • Conclusion
            • Nature vs nurture debate shows no signs of ending.
              • Even if biology makes us act a certain way, this will be channelled by society.
            • Sociologists suggest that if we want to explain social behaviour, then most of the answers can be found at the social and cultural level.
      • Identity
        • the way we see ourselves in relation to other people.
        • Social identity: based on membership/ identification with particular groups.
          • Sometimes these identities are given at birth.
          • Some social identities involve a greater degree of choice

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