What is Culture?

  • Created by: iiStevey
  • Created on: 15-05-19 08:44

Culture

Definition:

Culture refers to the entire way of life of a paticular society and considers the whole system of behaviour and beleifs of a society or group.

Extra Info:

  • Can include language, faith, art, music and fashion.
  • Cultures vary hugely across the world and there is diveristy
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Norms and Values: Definitions

Values

  • Beliefs and ideas that society sees as important and they are accepted by the majority of society.
  • Values are ideas we believe in and help guide our behaviour.

Norms:

  • Expected patterns of behaviour based on the values of a culture for example in UK it is a norm to wear clothes in public based on the value of modesty .

Examples:

  • Hygine (Value) - Leads to norms of washing hands / eating with knife & fork
  • Politeness (Value) - Leads to norms of fairly queueing at home.
  • Respect (Value) - Leads to norms of punctuality / obeying teacher 
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Norms and Values: Extra Information

Extra Information:

  • Norms are linked to values - the reason we perform certain behaviour is because we hold certain beliefs.
  • Norms and values of any culture are relative - means they are not fixed and aren't the same for all people in all situations.
  • Norms and Values can also change over i.e. smoking in pubs used to be a norm but is now viewed as deviant.
  • Most in society follow the norms and conform - those who don't are considered deviant.
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Cultural Diversity

What is It?

Cultural Diversity refers to the differences and variety found in societies. Can be seen between cultures (Intercultural) and within cultures (Intracultural).

The UK:

  • The UK is culturally diverse: There is a variety of norms and values within UK culture. Can include different ethnic groups but also the diversity between regions i.e. Welsh / Scottish / English.
  • Can also include age, class and sexual culture which all contribute to the overall UK culture - adding to the range of norms and value.
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Subcultures

What is It?

  • A subculture is defined as a culture within a culture - smaller grouping of people who share distinctive norms and values within a wider culture.
  • All of these groups are part of the wider UK culture, but also apart of distinctive subcultures - concept links to diversity.

Example:

  • The UK culture has subcultures based on age (Youth subcultures such as emos/punks).
  • Subcultures on ethnicity, music/fashion, political beliefs.
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Cultural Hybridity

What is It?

  • Cross between or merging of two or more cultures.
  • In global societies - hybridity becomes more common.

Extra Information:

  • UK culture often described as a hybrid because it contains aspects of English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish but also has influences from Asian/European and US Cultures.
  • Cultural Hybridity in the UK is often considered in relation to 2nd/3rd generation immigramts who adopt hybrid identities - aspects of parents identity alongside British culture.
  • 'Brasians' - British and Asian - Aspects of religion mixed with British values of fashion and music.
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Types of Culture

High Culture:

  • Cultural products and activities that have high status - represent the highest achievements in humanity i.e. Shakespeare's plays, classical music, opera and art.
  • Seen as superior to other forms of culture - appreciated by those who have a high level of education and social upbringing.

Popular Culture:

  • Activities enjoyed by the majority of the population such as watching TV, cinema and football. Some believe it is inferior to high culture and includes shallow activites.
  • Media usually creditied for spreading mass culture: provides mass access. Argued bridge between popular and high are breaking down as media provide access to both.

Consumer Culture:

  • Increasing avaliability and emphasis on consumption of goods and services - shopping is normal and focus of consumption - consume branded goods to construct and identity and gain status in the eyes of others - reinforced by the media.
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Global Culture & Globalisation

Global Culture:

  • Growing trent of activities becoming universal where brands, food, films and other products are identical across many countries - nation cultures lose their distinctiveness.
  • Linked to trent of globalisation where world becomes more interconnected i.e. McDonald's, Nike, Coca Cola are global brands which are instantly recognisable.
  • World has become a smaller place and now live in a global village - drive by multinational companies, ease of travel and globally accesible media. 

Globalisation and Culture:

  • Cultures can no longer be seen as separate from one another - what happens in one society is increasingly connected to others i.e. even in remote areas of the world, bramds like Coca-Cola and McDonalds can be found.
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