Components of Culture

Characteristics of Culture

  1. There is nothing "natural" about material or nonmaterial culture
  2. Culture penetrates deep into our thinking, becoming a taken-for-granted aspect of our lives
  3. Culture provides the lens through which we see the world and obtain our perception of reality
  4. Culture provides implicit instructions that tell us what we ought to do in various situations; it provides a fundamental basis for our decision-making
  5. Culture provides a "moral imperative"; that is, by internalizing culture, people learn ideas of right and wrong
  6. Coming into a radically into contact with a radically different culture challenges our basic assumptions of life
  7. Although the particulars of culture differ from one group of people to another, culture itself is universal

Diversity Between Cultures

Diversity Within Cultures

Normative Culture

Norm Violations

Symbolic Culture

Cultural Complexity, Diversity, and Change

Sources of Cultural Change:

Cultural lag - William Ogburn's term for a situation in which nonmaterial culture lags behind changes in the material culture

Cultural leveling - the process by which cultures become similar to one another, and especially by which Western industrial culture is imported and diffused into industrializing nations