WHAT IS CULTURE?

Report
Chapters 4, 5
© Robin Foster
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Acculturation
Assimilation
Cultural convergence
Cultural hearth
Cultural landscape
Cultural region
Cultural trait
Custom
Diffusion
Folk culture
Habit
Material culture
Popular culture
taboo
Term
Def
Ex/Pic/ Sent
Symbol
Chapter 4
Culture
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Think about your culture.
◦ Think about what where your family is from.
◦ Think about the language you speak.
◦ Think about the way you look: hair color, eye color,
facial features/shape, etc.
◦ Think about your mannerisms.
◦ Think about the clothes you wear.
◦ Think about the religion you practice.
◦ Think about the traditions you have.
◦ Think about the holidays you celebrate.
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Briefly describe your culture.
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Culture is the complex mix of values, beliefs,
behaviors, and material objects that form a
peoples’ way of life.
Cultural landscape-the modification of the
natural landscape by human activities.
Cultural Ecology is the field that studies the
relationship between the natural environment
and culture.
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How a person adapts to a new culture. We all
use adaptive strategies.
Ms. Foster moved from the North to the
South.
What makes her crazy about living in the
South?
There are some very distinct differences.
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A wide range of
concrete human
creations,
sometimes called
artifacts that reflect
values, beliefs and
behaviors.
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Consists of abstract concepts of:
◦ Values-culturally defined standards that guide the way
people assess desirability, goodness, beauty and serve
as guidelines for moral living.
◦ Beliefs-statements people hold to be true, and they are
almost based on values.
◦ Behaviors or actions that people take based on beliefs,
values and norms (rules and expectations by which a
society guides the behavior of members.)
A habit is a repetitive act that a particular
individual performs.
Example: jeans on Friday, getting
dressed.
A custom is a repetitive act of a group
performed to the extent that it becomes a
characteristic of the group.
Example: 4th of July fireworks
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An area marked by
culture that
distinguishes itself
from other regions
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A single attribute of
a culture
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Areas where
civilization first
began.
Mesopotamia
Indus Valley
Nile Valley
Geographers consider the areas stretching
above and below the Sahara Desert as part of
the African continent. Some geographers feel
the cultures of North Africa are more closely
associated with those of the Middle East than
with the Sub-Saharan Africa. This shows that-
a. Cultural characteristics can be used to define
regions.
b. Africa was subjected to European imperialism.
c. Most Africans would like to emigrate to the Middle
East.
d. North Africa’s physical features prevented contact
with the Middle East.
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Diffusion-the movement of goods, people or
ideas.
Cultural diffusion has spread culture traits to
most parts of the world.
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Trace your hand on a blank piece of white paper.
Follow the fingers around to create your “I AM”
hand poem. Examples will be provided in class.
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I am (heritage/ethnicity, etc.).
I have (2 cultural traits – clothing, hair/eye color, etc.)
I hear (cultural songs, traditional poems, etc.)
I believe (religion/religious ideas, etc.)
I am (heritage/ethnicity repeated)
I can/have (cultural achievement, expression etc.)
I celebrate (custom, holiday, religious celebrations, etc.)
I perform/I play (fine arts or dance of culture)
I am (heritage/ethnicity repeated)
Decorate with jewelry that represents your culture
(rings, bracelets), symbols of your culture, and color it!
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An innovation or idea develops in a source
area and remains strong there while
spreading outward.
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Contagious
Diffusion: nearly all
adjacent individuals
are affected (like
dropping a rock in
water).
Time –distance
decay-trait
weakens as
distance increases.
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Ideas and artifacts spread first between larger
places or prominent people and only later to
smaller less prominent people.
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Relocation Diffusion: the actual movement of
individuals who have already adopted an idea or
innovation and carry it to a new, perhaps distant
locale, where they proceed to disseminate it.
Migrant diffusion: when an innovation originates
somewhere and enjoys strong but brief adoption
there
Italian immigrants to New York City taught IrishAmericans how to make pizza (pizza, of course,
originated in Italy).
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A less dominant
culture adopts the
traits of more
influential ones.
Americans adopting
Indian Culture
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The dominant
culture completely
absorbs the less
dominant one.
Portrait of Native Americans from the
Cherokee, Cheyenne, Choctaw, Comanche,
Iroquois, and Muscogee tribes in American
attire. Photos dates from 1868 to 1924.
 Culture
can be categorized
according to spatial distribution
into two basic types:
 Folk
Culture
 Popular Culture
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Folk Culture is
traditionally
practiced by small,
homogenous
groups living in
isolated rural areas.
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Small
Incorporates homogeneous population
Typically rural
Cohesive in cultural traits
Work to preserve those traits in order to claim
uniqueness
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Folklore-stories passed on from generation
to generation.
Jack tales-stories that involve the character
Jack.
Folk culture is in a relatively small area.
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Popular Culture is found in large
heterogeneous societies that are bonded by a
common culture despite the many differences
among the people who share it.
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1960’s jeans were
associated with low
status laborers and
farmers.
Levi’s are a status
symbol in may
parts of the world.
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Popular culture
flourishes in
countries here
people have
sufficient income to
acquire the tangible
elements of popular
culture.
Pop culture is ever
changing
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Large
Incorporates heterogeneous populations
Typically urban
Experiences quickly changing cultural traits
Practiced by people across identities and
across the world
Also encompasses material and nonmaterial
culture
Practiced in wider area, popular culture
usually spreads through contagious diffusion.
Smiling is my favorite.
2. Run Forest! Run!
3. Cut it Out!
4. How Ruuuuude!
5. I can show you the world.
6. I’m gonna kill him! I’m
gonna finish him like
cheesecake.
7. Nobody puts Baby in the
corner.
8. Frankly my dear, I don’t
give a damn.
9. Taste the rainbow.
10. To Infinity and beyond.
11. Stupid is as stupid does.
12. Save money. Live better.
1.
13.Did I do that?
14. What you talkin’ ‘bout,
Willis?
15. I like that boulder, that is a
nice boulder.
16. If you can dodge a wrench,
you can dodge a ball.
17. I feel the need. . . The need
for speed.
18. May the force be with you.
19. Hakuna Matata.
20. Just keep swimming.
21. Who ya gonna call?
22. You raaaaang?
23. That’s the way the cookie
crumbles.
24. You’re killing me smalls.
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Let’s look at several segments of culture:
Music
Food
Sports
Architecture
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWgvGjAhvIw
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Culture can be analyzed through music.
Elvis Who?
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Listening habits of a particular group of
people is to analyze the radio stations they
listen to.
What radio station do you listen to?
What’s your ringtone?
Country
Bluegrass
Blues
Tejano
Cajun
Polka
Motown
Dance
dance2
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You must sit
quietly! And wait
for further
directions.
If you’re talking,
you will get 20
points deducted
from your grade
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Food is a terrific way to understand culture
because certain areas have dishes that are
distinct to their cuisine
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American fast food
has invaded the world.
( as a product of
diffusion)
Chowder
NE-is a white chowder
NY- is tomato based
BBQ—some sauces are mustard, ketchup, tomato or
vinegar based.
Dry BBQ-sauce cooked in
Wet BBQ-sauce added after meat is cooked.
Meat-port or beef?
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Food Attractions:
◦ Some things are
eaten because they
enhance some
characteristic the
culture deems
important
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Reasons for Food Taboo:
◦ Some things embody
negativity
◦ Protect the environment
◦ Religion and social values
◦ Nutritutional values
Country/
Location/Group
Taboo
USA
Swan, dog, cat, elephant, rats, mice
Hinduism
cow
Judaism
Shellfish, elephant, pork
Somali Clans
(Somalia)
fish
Quebec
Horse
Muslims
pork
England/Ireland
Snail
 Denmark-sandwiches
called smorrbrod,
eaten open face
with a knife and
fork.
 Rotted
SharkOnce the shark is
“ripe” enough it
is eaten.
 Yummy?
 Guinea
pigs
called cuy are a
delicacy. Served
for special
occasions such
as anniversaries
and birthdays.
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Blowfish or Fugu is
a delicacy in Japan.
Costing as much as
$200/plate.
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You can die, if
prepared
incorrectly.
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UK--Fish and chips
Clay
Paint chips
Cornstarch
Coffee grounds
Cigarette ashes
Glue
Hair
Feces
Paper
sand
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The habit of eating
clay, mud or dirt.
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Many say there are
health benefits and
that dirt from different
areas tastes different.
 People
travel to
this site in New
Mexico.
 They believe the
ground is sacred
and travel here
to eat dirt.
Sports are associated with culture.
The spread of baseball and basketball around
the world from the USA is a form of
hierarchical diffusion.
Sports
Soccer is the #1 sport in the world.
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Football
Soccer
Baseball
Basketball
Lacrosse
Cricket
Tennis
Golf
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What sports fan are
you?
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The architecture of residential, commercial
and spiritual structures vary greatly
throughout the world.
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Housing styles vary according to climate and
available building materials.
Brick/wood
Flat/peaked roof
Basement?
One story/multi-story
Single/multi family
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TV is the most popular leisure activity in
MDC’s throughout the world.
TV is the most important mechanism by
which popular culture such as sports is
rapidly diffused throughout the earth.
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Diffusion of internet follows a pattern of
television diffusion.
The internet connects the world, making
cultural diffusion happen at a rapid pace.
Without the internet, what would you do?
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People who see
themselves as a
part of a
community that
works to preserve
their traits and
customs.
Chapter 5
Language
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Language is a system of communication
through speech.
Oldest cultural trait on earth.
Language not only allows for communication,
but continuity of culture
In most cases language is spoken and
written.
Official language-language used by
government for laws, reports, and public
documents.
A country can have more than 1 official
language.
Standard language-a particular variety of a
language that has been given either legal or
quasi-legal status.
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Top 10 Most Commonly Spoken Languages
1. Chinese-14.9%(Mandarin, Wu)
2. Spanish-5.05%
3. English-4.84%
4. Hindi
5. Arabic
6. Portuguese
7. Bengali
8. Russian
9. Japanese
10. Standard German
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Spoken by more than ½ a billion people.
The British were responsible for the diffusion
of English.
Migration of British to other parts of the
world diffused English.
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You may not be
able to understand
the regional
dialects.
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Dialects
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Line
Motor home
Mail
Fries
Parking lot
Sweater
Highway
Apartment
Cookie
American English
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Queue
Caravan
Post
Chips
Car park
Jumper
Motorway
Flat
Biscuit
British English
A collection of
languages within a
branch that share a
common origin in the
relatively recent past.
Displaying a relatively
few differences in
grammar and
vocabulary.
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Evolved from Latin.
Spain, Portugal, France and Italy- are the
countries of the original Romance Languages.
Romanian is the 5th Romance Language
Latin and Hebrew have literary traditions.
Dialects exist within the Romance
Languages-Castilian.
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Sino-Tibetan-Mandarin Chinese
Afro-Asiatic-Arabic
Austronesian-SE Asia
Dravidian-India
Altaic
Asia
Niger-Congo-Africa
Japanese
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Represent concepts
rather than sounds
240 characters
build are built into
complex words.
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Thousands of extinct languages-once in use
but no longer spoken or read in daily
activities anywhere.
Examples include:
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Gothic-E/N Europe
Welsch-Wales
Quechua-Peru
Hebrew
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Speak more two or
more languages in
a country
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4 languages in the
country.
German, French,
Italian and
Romansh
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English for the
majority of the
country.
Quebec is the
French speaking
province.
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Need for common language for
communication.
Lingua Franca-language of international
communication is English.
Mix elements of two languages into a
common language.
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Ebonics-a combination of Ebony and phonics.
Example: She be at home
Ebonics is controversial.
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Appalachian dialects-
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Quick, call an am-bew-lance.
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Many are considered a sign of poor education
by outsiders.
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Franglais-a combination of French and English.
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Spanglish-Spanish and English.
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 Le Jogging
◦ The word carpeta is "folder" in standard Spanish. In
some Spanglishes it means "carpet" (room rug).
Denglish-German and English
Ich musste den Computer neu booten /
rebooten, weil die Software gecrasht ist.
I had to reboot the computer because the
software crashed.
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The study of place names.
Cultural identity and history can be revealed
by noticing names of geographic and political
features.
New York
Rio Grande-”Big River” in Spanish
Rocky Mountains
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Language can be a barrier for many
international travelers.
Language barriers for immigrants.
Language dialects as a part of regional
culture.
Literacy-the ability to read and write in your
native language.

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