Formation of culture: Key concepts

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  • Created by: Shugaa
  • Created on: 25-03-13 19:09

Norms

Norms - 

  • Unwritten Rules of everyday life
  • are regulated by positive and negative sanctions
  • Vary from society to society 
  • Also change over time

For example in our society it is customary to not burp out loud as you will be frowned on but in other societies burping is considered approved as it shows that one has appreciated their meal.

Smiling is another norm that changes from society to society.In britain smiling is seen  as a neutral face. sometimes people often greet strangers with a smile to show their politeness. However in other societies such as russia a smiling face is an expression for amusement or amusing situation

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Values

Values-

  • Genral guidlines  about what is considered desirable and undesirable in society
  • One's judgement about what is important in life and they inform behaviour
  • vary accross individuals  and cultures  and are in many ways aligned with belief
  • There are many diffrent types of values such as ethical/moral values and social values

For example waiting your turn in the que (norm) is baed on the value we place on respectfulness 

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Status

This is based on our socila position on social standing within society.

Ascribed status

some statuses are based on characterisics that we are born with for example, our position within the family, our gender, race and ethnicity 

Achieved status 

for example the status of being a  professor, doctor or lawyer

its also possible to hold both and low status at the same time

for example Nick Griffen, leadr of the BNP. He has a high status within his party as he is the leader however in wider society 

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Role

Within each status there are a set of norms that a person must follow.

  • Roles can be semi-permanant for example 'doctor', 'mother' , 'child'
  • They can also be transitory for example 'student'

Roles can are also interconnected in a role set 

  • For example a high school football player carries the roles of student, athlete, class mate .etc.

One example  of a role is the role of the student. A student role would be to attend classes, take notes , communicate with teachers & fellow student, to participating 

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Culture

A contested concept.Generally refers to the norms,values, beliefs,customs and the way of life of a society  or a group within society.Culture is usually shared by more than one person and is transmitted from generation to generation.There are many different types of culture in society 

One example is high culture. this is the culture of the elite or the upper class. People who belong to this culture participate in many elite activities such as listening to the opera, clasical music and reading Shakespeare.. This culture is formed by members of the elite who believe that only people with good breading and with appropriate education.

Another example is popular culture. This is the culture of the masses.People who belong to this culture engage in many mass produced forms of entertainment such as watching Hollywood films,watching soap operas and listening to pop

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