Culture by yaoyufang


The Summer Institute for Linguistics (SIL) Ethnologue Survey (2009) lists the following as the
top languages by population:
(number of native speakers in parentheses)
Mandarin Chinese (937,132,000)
Spanish (332,000,000)
English (322,000,000)
Bengali (189,000,000)
Hindi/Urdu (182,000,000)
Arabic (174,950,000)
Portuguese (170,000,000)
Russian (170,000,000)
Japanese (125,000,000)
German (98,000,000)
Culture and Language
   2 sociologists
   Concrete Culture-Share artifacts
   Review week 1
   Before next week and about Quiz 1
George Herbert Mead 1863-1931
• Stated human beings begin their understanding of the
  social world through play
• Published Mind Self Society
• Described internal thought processes and conflicts:
• I = unpredictable
  creative aspect of self ( I want to do this!)
• Me=conformist aspect of self
  (You’re making me look bad)
• Mind=conversations people have
  with themselves
Charles Horton Cooley 1864-1929
• Also studied the subject of “the
• Interested in social interaction
• Looking Glass Self: He stated that
  we form our sense of ourselves by
  looking in a mirror.
• That mirror symbolizes the people
  that we interact with
Review : Subcultures and counter cultures

 • Culture within larger culture
 • Has some own values, customs etc,             Subculture
 • Shares many values of the larger culture
 Ex: Youth culture, DJ’s, surfers, doctors
                                              Counter culture

 Counter culture:
  Holds values that stand in opposition to those of the
   dominant culture
 Ex: Swingers, gangs, mafia
1.    Assignment 3. Share your cultural artifact. Tell us:
•    your name
•    what you brought
•    what meaning it has for you

2. As people are sharing, record which category of culture you
  think each item falls under:

• Race/ethnicity/nationality              • Sports
• Language                                • Religion

• Gender                                  • Political ideology

• Socio-economic status                   • Interests/hobbies

• Age                                     • Experiences

                                          • Family
Your cultural artifacts
 1. Highlights a subculture you are part of :
 • Culture within larger culture
 • Has some own values, customs etc,
 • Shares many values of the larger culture   Subculture

 2. Exemplifies concrete/material culture
 3. Demonstrates that culture is symbolic (the
   significance of cultures lies in the meaning it holds
   for people)
Language Defined:
• A set of symbols that expresses
  ideas and allows people to think
  and communicate with each

• Can be verbal or nonverbal.

• Represents not only objects but
  also abstract thought
Culture and Language
• Humans learn and transmit our culture through
        Culture and Language
What we say influences
                         What think feel and
 what we think             believe
 what we feel and        influences
 what we believe         what we say
guides perceptions

There are words that exist in certain
  languages that do not have a an
  equivalent in others

• girlfriend/boyfriend doesn’t exist in
• Kuya/Ate(older brother/sister in
• Ta’arof- Farsi term referring to
  etiquette, politeness, cultural
  obligations doesn’t exist in English
  What do these proverbs tell you
  about what the culture values?
               Partner Activity. Discuss with 1-2 partners

• “Lower your voice and strengthen your argument.” (Lebanese

• “Flies never visit an egg that has no crack.” (Chinese proverb)

• “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” (American proverb)
Maori Proverb (New Zealand)
• “E moa i tangata   • “Marry a man with
  ringa raupa.”        blistered hands.”
Mexican Proverb
• “Anda tu camino sin   • “Walk your own road
  ayuda de vecino.”       without the help of a
Nigerian Proverb
• "When the brothers fight to the death, a stranger
  inherits their father's estate.”
Language Moribund
(endangered language)

• Moribund = spoken only by a few older people and unknown to

• Perhaps as many as 90% of all world languages will be extinct or
  moribund within the next 100 years

• An entire way of thinking is lost each time a language becomes
Endangered Languages

• View National Geographic Map of endangered
• View Enduring Voices Project
Review week 1
What is sociology?
•   The systematic study of human society, social groups, and
    social interactions
         Sociological Imagination/
          Sociological Perspective
C. Wright Mills

    Ability to see the many ways society influences our thoughts
     and actions
Using your sociological imagination
                          Any behavior or belief

 Individual Perspective                   Sociological Perspective

  Focus on someone’s                      Focus on influences
  personal characteristics                bigger than one person
  or experiences                          (the time, place, and culture
                                          the individual lives in, and
                                          how these factors might
                                          influence their beliefs and
                   Major Theories

Structural functionalism
sees society as a complex system, parts work
together to promote stability

Emphasizes the importance of:
   Social Functions (what someone or something’s
    job/role is)
   Is something functional or dysfunctional for
   In other words helpful or harmful?
                     Major Theories

                    Conflict theory

sees society as an arena of inequality

Helps sociologists investigate how factors such as
 Race

 Gender/ethnicity

 Class

 Age

are linked to unequal distribution of resources such as
money, power, land, education, social prestige
                   Major Theories

   Symbolic Interactionism
sees society as the product of the everyday
interactions of individuals.
Emphasizes that:
 Human beings living in a world of symbols and
  attaching meaning and labels to virtually everything
 Emphasizes group influence
Values: our beliefs Norms: how we   Artifacts, music,
                    behave          food, and artistic

         Non-material culture        Material culture
• View How Beliefs and Values Define a Culture
    Before next week
•   Read chapter 3 and 4
•   Quiz 1 Wednesday be on time-class continues after the quiz
•   Bring a standard 50 question scantron E-882 and pencil
•   Multiple choice, 15 questions
•   Study class notes, ppt slides on website, and text reading
•   Study guide posted on website

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