Folk and Popular Culture The International Perspective What is Culture? Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, arts, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society. Enculturation is the process by which a child learns his or her culture. Features of Culture 1. Styles of Dress 16. Concept of Fairness 2. Ways of Greeting People 17. Nature of Friendship 3. Beliefs about Hospitality 18. Ideas about Clothing 4. Importance of Time 19. Foods 5. Paintings 20. Eating Habits 6. Values 21. Facial Expressions and Hand 7. Literature Gestures 8. Beliefs about Child Raising 22. Concept of Self (Children & Teens) 23. Work Ethic 9. Attitudes about Personal 24. Religious Beliefs Space/Privacy 25. Religious Rituals 10. Beliefs about the 26. Concept of Beauty Responsibilities 27. Rules of Polite Behavior 11. Gestures 28. Attitude Toward Age 12. Holiday Customs 29. Beliefs about the Importance 13. Music of Family 14. Dancing 30. General World View 15. Celebrations Cultures around the world Source: Johns Hopkins Photo Share Culture Is Learned Cultural learning is unique to humans. Cultural learning is the accumulation of knowledge about experiences and information not perceived directly by the organism, but transmitted to it through symbols. – Symbols are signs that have no necessary or natural connection with the things they signify or for which they stand. – Scholars often define culture as ideas based on cultural learning and symbols. Culture is learned through direct instruction and through observation, providing conscious and unconscious means for the acquisition of cultural knowledge. Anthropologists accept a doctrine named in the 19th century as the ―psychic unity of man,‖ which asserted that all human populations share the same capacity for culture. Culture Is Shared Culture is an attribute not of individuals per se but of individuals as members of groups. The social transmission of culture tends to unify people by providing them with common experiences. Such experiences in turn shape people’s values, memories, and expectations. The Fundamentals of Culture The fundamental ways cultures differ is in the way they view: – The concept of time (e.g., How important is punctuality? Are people’s lives driven by the clock, or do people have a more relaxed view of time?) – The concept of the self (e.g., Is the culture more individualist, or is it more collectivist? Is individual self-reliance and independence more important, or is ensuring the well-being of the group more important?) – The concept of locus of control (e.g., Do people believe they control their own lives and their own destinies, or do people believe things ―just happen‖ to them due to fate—or due to outside forces they cannot control?) – The concept of personal vs. societal obligations (e.g., Do the same rules apply to everyone, regardless of the situation, or are exceptions made for certain individuals depending on the circumstances?) Levels of Culture National culture refers to those experiences, beliefs, learned behavior patterns, values, and institutions that are shared by citizens of the same nation. International culture refers to cultural practices that extend beyond and across national boundaries. Cultural practices may be transmitted through diffusion. Subcultures are identifiable cultural patterns and traditions associated with particular groups in the same complex society. French Wine Regions Features of Culture Cultural universals are certain biological, psychological, social, and cultural features that are found in every culture. Cultural generalities include features that are common to several but not all human groups. Cultural particularities are features that are unique to certain cultural traditions. Mechanisms of Cultural Change - Diffusion Diffusion, defined as the spread of cultural traits through borrowing between cultures, has been a source of culture change throughout human history. Diffusion can be direct when two cultures trade, intermarry, or wage war on one another or indirect when cultural practices or traits move from group A to group C via group B without any firsthand contact between groups A and C. Diffusion can be forced when one culture subjugates another and imposes its customs on the dominated group (e.g. through warfare, colonization). Models of Diffusion Mechanisms of Cultural Change - Acculturation Acculturation is the exchange of cultural features that results when groups come into continuous firsthand contact. Acculturation may occur in any or all groups engaged in such contact. A pidgin is an example of acculturation, because it is a language form that develops by blending language elements from different languages in order to facilitate communication between populations in contact (e.g. in trade relationships). Mechanisms of Cultural Change - Independent Invention Independent invention is defined as the process by which humans innovate, creatively finding solutions to problems. Cultural generalities are partly explained by the independent invention of similar responses to comparable cultural and environmental circumstances. The independent invention of agriculture in the Middle East and Mexico is cited as an example. Folk vs. Popular Customs Folk customs have anonymous sources, are practiced by small homogeneous groups living in relative isolation. Popular customs are invented and associated with societies possessing modern communications systems. Types of Social Customs First type – Customs which are derived from basic human needs – especially food, clothing and clothing – The methods people choose to meet these needs result in varying landscapes around the world. Second type – Related to people’s choices in leisure activities – Leisure activities = arts & recreation Customs Defined by Arts Arts – literature, performing arts & visual arts These artistic efforts define what is meaningful for a particular society, what a society holds to be beautiful, ugly, tragic, comic, etc. Artistic efforts may vary in different places in part because of differences in the environment in which they are created. Different artistic efforts result in landscapes that appear different in different places. Customs Defined by Leisure Activities Leisure activities involves recreation, both active, such as sports, and passive, such as television viewing or listening to music. These recreation activities are done to invigorate or to relax. People in different societies select different recreation activities in which to participate. Cultural Landscapes In some societies, meaning derives primarily from substituting for work. In other societies, meaning can derive from other human emotions, such as the need to relax, be entertained, etc. As with artistic efforts, differences in recreation occur in part because of differences in the environment and conversely, different recreation activities create different cultural landscapes. Monochronic Cultures In monochronic cultures, the belief is that time is fixed and people need to regulate their lives by it. The needs of people are secondary to the demands of time—schedules, deadlines, etc. Schedules are sacred, to be late is rude, interruptions are considered ―bad,‖ and ―time is money.‖ These cultures believe that time is quantifiable, and a limited amount of it is available. People do one thing at a time and finish it before starting something else, regardless of circumstances. In these cultures, the focus is: – on the task and getting the job done quickly, and – on establishing and maintaining relationships. Polychronic Cultures In polychronic cultures, the belief is that time is the servant and tool of people. Time is adjusted to suit the needs of people. Plans frequently change, and being made to wait is normal. These cultures believe that more time is always available, and you are never too busy. People often have to do several things simultaneously, as required by circumstances. It’s not necessary to finish one thing before starting another, nor to finish your business with one person before starting in with another. In these cultures, the focus is: – on the person and establishing relationships, and – on the task and getting the job done quickly. Space Concepts The question of how we perceive space is equally depending of the culture. The western cultures focus their attention on objects, and neglect the space in between. The Japanese, on the other hand, honor the space in between as ma. In a different system, the Hopi Indians have in their language no words for a fixed room: all objects are described in their relation to each other, but no concept of a three dimensional space exists. Also the way we deal with space is different. The concepts of the private space, the space orientation, the interpersonal distance and the space design. Wine Production per year The distribution of wine production shows the joint impact of the physical environment and social customs. Hog Production & Food Cultures Annual hog production is influenced by religious taboos against pork consumption in Islam and other religions. The highest production is in China, which is largely Buddhist. Clustering of Folk Cultures Isolation promotes cultural diversity – Himalayan art Influence of the physical environment – Distinctive food preferences – Folk housing – U.S. folk house forms Himalayan Folk Cultural Regions Cultural geographers have identified four distinct culture regions based on predominant religions in the Himalaya Mountains. House Types in Western China Four communities in western China all have distinctive house types. Broadly Defined Cultural Areas The 5,000 Worldwide Indigenous Cultures Globalization and Culture Globalization encompasses a series of processes that work to promote change in a world in which nations and people are increasingly interlinked and mutually dependent. Economic and political forces take advantage of modern systems of communication and transportation to promote globalization. People must increasingly cope with forces generated by progressively larger systems – region, nation, and world. New forms of political mobilization and cultural expression are emerging from the interplay of local, regional, national, and international cultural forces. Diffusion of TV 1954 - 2005 Television has diffused widely since the 1950s, but some areas still have low numbers of TVs per population. Distribution of Internet Users, 1990 - 2005 Internet users per 1000 population. Diffusion of internet service is following the pattern of TV diffusion in the 20th century, but at a much faster rate. Why Does Globalization of Popular Culture Cause Problems? The basic problems related to social customs derive from – the increasing dominance of popular culture, originating in more developed countries, and – the diffusing more rapidly around the world than in the past due to modern communications. This increasing dominance of popular culture poses two problems: – the threat to survival of distinctive folk customs and – increasing pollution. Impacts of the Globalization of Popular Culture Threats to folk culture – Loss of traditional values – Foreign media dominance Environmental impacts of popular culture – Modifying nature – Uniform landscapes – Negative environmental impact The Generational and Cultural Divide They’re well-off, well educated, widely traveled, fluent in several languages. The elder woman, mother of the younger, is a biochemist, married to a prosperous businessman in Mumbai. Her daughter (in a PVC catsuit of her own design) is a model and former host on the music video channel VTV. Folk Culture Stable and close knit Usually a rural community Tradition controls Resistance to change Buildings erected without architect or blueprint using locally available building materials anonymous origins, diffuses slowly through migration. Develops over time. Clustered distributions: isolation/lack of interaction breed uniqueness and ties to physical environment. FOLK ARCHITECTURE Effects on Landscape: usually of limited scale and scope. Agricultural: fields, terraces, grain storage Dwellings: historically created from local materials: wood, brick, stone, skins; often uniquely and traditionally arranged; always functionally tied to physical environment. FOLK ARCHITECTURE FOLK FOOD How did such differences develop? Marboloro Man in Egypt Problems with the Globalization of Culture Often Destroys Folk Culture – or preserves traditions as museum pieces or tourism gimmicks. Mexican Mariachis; Polynesian Navigators; Cruise Line Simulations Change in Traditional Roles and Values; Polynesian weight problems Satellite Television, Baja California Problems with the Globalization of Popular Culture Western Media Imperialism? U.S., Britain, and Japan dominate worldwide media. Glorified consumerism, violence, sexuality, and militarism? U.S. (Networks and CNN) and British (BBC) news media provide/control the dissemination of information worldwide. These networks are unlikely to focus or provide third world perspective on issues important in the LDCs. Environmental Problems with Cultural Globalization Accelerated Resource Use through Accelerated Consumption Furs: minx, lynx, jaguar, kangaroo, whale, sea otters (18th Century Russians) fed early fashion trends Inefficient over-consumption of Meats (10:1), Poultry (3:1), even Fish (fed other fish and chicken) by meat- eating pop cultures Mineral Extraction for Machines, Plastics and Fuel New Housing and associated energy and water use. Golf courses use valuable water and destroy habitat worldwide. Pollution: waste from fuel generation and discarded products, plastics, marketing and packaging materials Abu Dubai New York City Tokyo Bilbao Everyone Has a Culture – Everyone is Different 1. What languages do you speak? 2. What music do you listen to? 3. What dances do you know? 4. What food do you eat at home? 5. In your family, what is considered polite and what is considered rude? (what manners have you been taught?) 6. What do you wear on special occasions? 7. How important is your extended family (e.g. grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins)? 8. What holidays and ceremonies are important to your family? 9. What things are most important to you? 10. Based on your answers, how would you describe the characteristics of the culture of which you are a part?
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