Welcome to Unit 2: Culture!
Download the packet for Unit 2 here.
Today in class we examined how people react when they come into contact with different cultures. Culture is essentially all the rules we learn about how to live our lives. We played a card game that illustrated this. When we are exposed to other cultures and we see such different rules, we are sometimes in shock of how different the other culture is (culture shock). If this shock results in our judging a culture based on the rules we have learned that is called ethnocentrism. Instead, sociologists try to use cultural relativity when examining a culture.
Another metaphor for culture that we use is a fishbowl. All of the stuff in the fishbowl is material culture. But what you can't see (the water) is just as important (if not more so): the ph value of the water, the temperature, whether it is salty or not, etc... This is called nonmaterial culture. Additionally, the fish has never known life out of water just like we have been surrounded by culture from the moment we are born. And lastly, the fish must look through the water to see the world just as we always look through our culture to understand the world. We are limited and shaped by our cultural experiences. If the water in the bowl is blue then the whole world looks blue to the fish.
Identify the following reactions to culture:
Culture Shock -
Cultural Relativity –
How is culture like a fish bowl?