Culture & Beliefs

A set of revision cards useful for Paper 1 AQA Humanities

  • Created by: Emma
  • Created on: 12-05-10 13:57

What is culture?

- Shared way of life in a community or group

- Norms, values, customs, traditions, beliefs, attitudes & practices

Case study - Plains Indians of North America

  • Few laws within the tribe
  • Safety of whole tribe more important than individuals
  • Very old sometimes left to starve
  • Men in warrior clubs
  • Sun dance linked to religious beliefs
  • Ritual dances to bring buffalo back
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How is order maintained?

Social Norms

  • acceptable
  • norms can change within a culture
  • social deviants do not conform with society


  • Enforcers of law include: governement, judicary, penal system, police and army
  • Common law may enforce norms


  • guidance on what is right and wrong
  • religion


  • what individuals believe to be important
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Beliefs - Religion

Religious groups functions

  • shared beliefs
  • learn discipline
  • all learn to appreciate same things
  • learn about one another
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Case Study - Yanomami of South America

  • live in rainforests and mountains of north Brazil
  • 95% of the tribe will live in the rainforest
  • 5% of the tribe will live by the river, to encourage trade and be able to fish
  • extended family units of between 150 - 400 people
  • large huts known as SHABONOS
  • men go on long distance hunting trips
  • men are allowed to marry a numberous amount of wives

problems faced:

  • gold miners pollute rivers
  • cattle ranchers destroy vegetation
  • number of cases of malaria is rising
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Nature or nuture

Nature - characteristics that you inherit

Nurture - what is learnt through experience and environment

  • Genes = nature, inherited from parents and cannot be changes
  • Socicalisation = you are taught what to do
  • Masculine and feminine = you are shown whether you should have masculine or feminine qualities
  • Gender roles = men and women are viewed differently in different societies
  • Intelligence = nature and nurture, as you are born with some intelligence but it can be nutured through education

Primary socialisation - Up to age 5, being taught how to speak/behave

Secondary socialisation - things that influence us:

  • Family
  • Education
  • Media
  • Peer groups
  • Religious groups
  • Workplace
  • Role models
  • Laws
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Case studies - Chicken Girl & Wolf Children

Chicken Girl

  • Isabel Quaresma
  • lived in Portugal
  • born to a mentally disturbed mother
  • spent eight years living in a chicken coop
  • repeated the chicken like qualities
  • ate the same food as the chickens
  • was SOCIALISED in the same way as the chickens

Wolf Children

  • mimicked wolf behaviour
  • walked on all fours
  • could communicate with wolves
  • were SOCIALISED in the same way as the wolves
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Why are beliefs impotant? (Case study - Amish)

  • Christians
  • Moved to USA in 17th century to escape persecution
  • Do not wear butons as they are humble
  • Won't join US Army, they are pacifists
  • They do not have church buildings as they believe that the people are the church
  • Amish men grow beards to show that they are married
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Interaction of cultures

- Britain is a multicultural society

- Minority cultures find it hard to maintain culture in Britain as they are put under pressure by community

Problems migrants face:

  • unemployment
  • nowhere to live
  • racial discrimination
  • can cause riots

- 3rd Race relations act of 1976 outlawed discrimination and established the Commision for Racial Equality

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Your rights

- Children's rights = survival, protection, education and development. UNICEF & UNCRC help to enforce these

- Social = survival, security and shelter. CPAG, Age Concern and Oxfam will help you to ensure you are entitled to these

- Economic = work and equal pay. Unions will help you to fight for this

- Women = equal oppurtunities. UDHR, WI and Women's refuge will help women to achieve these.

- Life = choice and abortion. LIFE and SPUC will help you to fight for your rights in your own life

- Homosexual = marriage, equality and acceptance. UDHR will help to fight their cause

- Immigration = work, shelter and asylum. UNHCR will support people.

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Violation of Human Rights (Case studies)

Bosnia 1995:

  • ethnic cleansing of muslims
  • unlawful killing
  • hatred of muslims by serba-croats

Carl Bridgewater, 1978:

  • 4 men wrongly arrested
  • falsified evidence lead to their arrest
  • police were desperate to get conviction

Chris Morris:

  • change in UK Law so consent for gays is 16 rather than 18
  • fairness to all wanted
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Moral Issues

A belief whether an action is wrong or right

  • Euthanasia
  • Abortion
  • Sunday trading
  • Fox hunting
  • Homosexual rights
  • Immigrants
  • Capital Punishment
  • The Royal Family
  • Smacking children
  • Animal cruelty
  • Testing on animals
  • Arranged marriage
  • Human cloning
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4 ways = suicide, assisted suicide, voluntary euthanasia and non-voluntary euthanasia

Euthanasia = 'Beautiful death'

For Euthanasia, Voluntary Euthanasia Society:

  • dying with dignity
  • a person should be able to terminate their life
  • knowing what is best for you

Against Euthanasia, Pro-Life Alliance:

  • believe it is murder
  • change the role of a doctor
  • people would be pushed into it
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Premature expulsion of the foetus in the womb, performed before it is 24 weeks old

For abortion:

  • Pro-choice
  • should be allowed at any stage in pregnancy
  • it is up to the individual

Against abortion:

  • Pro-life, Christians, Muslim & Hindu
  • believed to be a sin
  • form of murder
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these notes are really helpful thanks ** :)

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