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Culture A Matter of Perspective What is Culture? Music? Food? Clothing? Race? Material Culture Many times, what is thought of as culture is only its outward manifestation. Music, food, race and clothing are material culture. They are things that we can see, touch or taste. Non-material culture Non-material cultural is ideas, beliefs and values that influence material culture. Religion and language are examples of non-material culture Cultural Roots Our collective opinions, attitudes, values and beliefs influence such things as laws, customs and holidays. Culture as a Lens Culture is like a distorted lens that we see the world through. Everyone’s lens is distorted to some extent. Not Me? Chances are, you have an opinion about this guy. Your opinion reveals the distortion of your cultural lens. U.S. Culture : local (national) scale All people have a tendency to reinforce their own values and beiefs. White, Culture is often White, male, dictated by the attractive, rich, characteristics and values of the athletic, educated dominant group. English language What are the Protestant characteristics and values of America? Name Gender Ethnicity religion Washington Male English Protestant Adams Male English Protestant Jefferson Male Welsh Protestant Madison Male English Protestant Monroe Male Scotch Protestant Adams Male English Protestant Jackson Male Scotch-Irish Protestant Van Buren Male Dutch Protestant Henry Male English Protestant Tyler Male English Protestant Polk Male Scotch-Irish Protestant Name Gender Ethnicity Religion Taylor Male English Protestant Fillmore Male English Protestant Pierce Male English Protestant Buchanan Male Scotch-Irish Protestant Lincoln Male English Protestant Johnson Male English Protestant Grant Male Scotch-Irish Protestant Hayes Male Scotch Protestant Garfield Male English Protestant Arthur Male Scotch-Irish Protestant Cleveland Male English, Irish Protestant Name Gender Ethnicity Religion Harrison Male English Protestant Mckinley Male Scotch-Irish Protestant Roosevelt Male Dutch Protestant Taft Male English Protestant Wilson Male Scotch-Irish Protestant Harding Male English-Dutch Protestant Collidge Male English Protestant Hoover Male Swiss-German Protestant Roosevelt Male Dutch Protestant Truman Male English, Scotch Protestant Eisenhower Male Swiss-German Protestant Kennedy Male Irish Roman Catholic Name Gender Ethnicity Religion Johnson Male English, Protestant Scotch-Irish Nixon Male English Protestant Scotch-Irish Ford Male English Protestant Carter Male English Protestant Reagan Male English Irish Protestant Bush Male English Protestant Clinton Male English Irish Protestant Bush Male English Protestant Total male Northern Protestant Europe 43 43 42 Hegemony and Marginalization Unfortunately, those who do not share the characteristics of the dominant group often feel that they don’t fit in. They are pushed away from the center of power into the margins. This is called marginalization. Hegemony and Language If language were a truck, then culture would be it’s cargo. Languages are embedded with all kinds of culture. Japanese Language and Culture Before the Meiji Restoration, Japan Feudal Lord was a feudal society. They had a caste system that held each social class in it’s place. Samurai The Japanese have several different levels of speech depending on who Artisans they are talking to. When meeting someone for the first Merchants time, it is custom to present someone with a business card that has your name, company name and rank in the Peasants company so that they know what level of speech to use. Untouchables Marginalization and Martial Arts Martial Arts is fighting without traditional weapons. In most feudal societies, the only class that was allowed to own a weapon was the warrior class. Because they often abused their power, the peasants created forms of fighting to protect themselves. They adapted weapons from farm tools. Extreme Distortion At its worst, marginalizaiton takes the form of hatred, racism, chauvenism, homophobia, sizeism, religious persecution and any other act by those with distorted lenses to reinforce their own values Core Periphery Model: Global Scale The core periphery model explains how some countries Latin America are more powerful than China others. Anglo-America Western Europe, Japan Specifically, countries north S. East South Asia CORE and south of 30 degrees Asia latitude are at the core, while Australia, South Korea those between the equator to Middle East 30 Sub-Saharan Africa degrees north and south are on the periphery. In other words, those at the See also: World Systems Analysis core are hegemonic and exploit/marginalize those on the periphery. Core-Periphery Model Genocide At it’s worst, an entire culture Can have a distorted view of Another race, religion or gender This was the case with the Holocaust, Genocide in Rwanda, Darfur, Palestinian conflict and many other atrocities. World Conflict Zones Dark Blue=1000+ deaths per year Light Blue=10-1000 deaths per year Looking at the Lens If our values and beliefs distort our view of reality, what are we to do? Instead of always looking through the lens, we should look at the lens from time to time. We should examine the way that our beliefs, attitudes, behavior and language affect other people. If our examination reveals something hurtful, we should make amends and make a change. Response Format Use the following format to write what you learned from this lesson: 1. Summarize the main idea of the lesson. 2. Text to world: How does this idea relate to the world around you. 3. Text to self: Write your attitudes, opinions, experiences about this idea. Excerpts from reflection papers The culture goggles had the biggest impact on my life. That lesson has completely changed the way I view the world. It really connected and hit home. I understand things about other cultures that I never would have before. I really liked how you had something that was physical and visual. It helps you remember things better when you use kinesthetic learning techniques. This lesson will definitely change my future outlook on other countries, religion and races. It gives me an understanding that I have never had before.I always thought of how weird and different other places are. However, I never stopped to think about how they viewed me. They probably think I’m weird! Another excerpt While learning about the earth’s structure is all well and good, it’s not something that particularly captivated me. I, instead, was drawn to the political and social power aspect of our world. Power is what our world is based on today. One group of people becomes dominant, and then their values and beliefs are reinforced by their power. If you do not possess the same values or standards as this group, you are less influential, less important and less powerful. Many times, the classifications to be in the “group” are impossible to achieve. You cannot change who you are or what you look like. If being white is what is “in,” being black is not something you change. We have to learn to work with what we have and to love who we are.
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