Sociology Paper 1: Culture

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  • Culture = the way of life of a society or social group
    • Culture
      • STUDY - Mead: Sex and Temperament in 3 Primitive Societies (1935). Studied 3 different tribes.
        • Arapesh - both men and women were gentle and co-operative
        • Chambri - gender roles were almost completely reversed
        • Mundugumor - men and women both violent and aggressive
      • Cultural diversity - variety or difference in cultures
        • Intercultural -difference between cultures
        • Intracultural - difference within a culture
      • High culture - activities, products and services enjoyed by the elite in society
        • e.g. opera, theatre, art galleries
        • Popular culture - products and activities enjoyed by the majority
          • e.g. going to the cinema, television, playing and watching football
      • Consumer culture - a society which revolves around consumption. Purchasing commodities is central to modern lifestyle
        • Fuelled by rising living standards, increasing materialism and a greater choice of consumer goods
        • UK is a consumer culture - shopping is seen as a leisure activity
        • Conspicuous consumption - buying products because of the statement they make about social position
      • UK class system leads to the development of class-based subcultures
        • e.g. in the North following ruby league is seen as a working-class pursuit, and following ruby union as a middle-class one
  • Norms - behaviour which is expected, considered normal or expected by the majority of society
    • e.g. behaving respectfully is normal
    • Values guide our behaviour - respectful behaviour is a norm because we value respect
  • Values - things we believe in and strive to achieve, which guide our behaviour
  • Value modesty so wearing clothes is a norm
    • Value educational achievement so hard work is a norm
      • e.g. behaving respectfully is normal
  • Subculture - a group within a culture who share distinctive norms and values
  • McLuhan (1964) - global village. The world has become a smaller place, geographical location is less relevant
  • Hybridity  - merging of 2+ cultures
    • e.g  'Brasian'
  • Global culture - cultures of societies like the UK can no longer exist in isolation from the rest of the world
    • McLuhan (1964) - global village


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