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CHARACTERISTICS OF CULTURE

1. Culture is learned and acquired. Not all things shared generally by a population are culturalfor it to be considered cultural it must be first learned as well as shared.

2. Culture is shared and transmitted. Culture is passed on to succeeding generations primarily
through Language/ Communication.

3. Culture is social. Product develops by many people interacting in a group. No man is an island;
he is always a part of a group.

4. Culture is ideational. Culture uses ideas and symbols to give meanings to his environment and
experiences. Every individual sees and approaches his world according to standpoint of his culture.

5. Culture gratifies human needs. Human has biological needs such as food, shelter, clothing,
protection, love, security and sex.

6. Culture is adaptive. 7. Culture is cumulative. People are able to retain certain features of their culture that are
significant.

Functions of Culture

1. Trademark or special feature that distinguishes one society from another. 2. Brings together, contains and interprets the values of a society in a more or less systematic
manner.

3. Provides one of the most important bases for social solidarity. Social Solidarity inspires loyalty
and devotion. When the nation has common feelings, common objectives it results to common national pride.

4. Provides a blueprint of, as well as the materials for social structure. 5. The culture of any society is the dominant factor in establishing and molding the social
personality. Social stamp is expected despite differences of individuals.

6. Culture of a society provides behavioral pattern. It also provides norm to follow. This explains
why student will not come in class wearing her bathing suit.

7. Culture provides individual with the meaning and direction of his existence.

Modes of acquiring culture 1. Imitation 2. Indoctrination- thru formal teaching 3. Conditioning- individual acquires a certain pattern of belief, values, behavior and actions thru process conditioning. It is fueled and reinforced by system of reward and punishment. Adaptation of culture Man is one but cultures are many 1. Parallelism- refers to the independent development of culture characteristics into widely separated cultures. 2. Diffusion- common process of patterns and traits passing back and forth from one culture to another. Ex: behavior patterns, food, customs, rituals and festivities 3. Fission- process that can be traced historically when a long- established society breaks up into two or more independent units. Ex: Aetas of Zambales, Manobos, Igorots, Dumagats of Palanan 4. Convergence- fusion of two or more culture into a new one which is somewhat different from its predecessors. Ex: Moorish+Spanish culture, Roman+ Germanic traits *Diffusion and Convergence are the 2 most important forms of adaptation in the modern world because of globalization, migration and fast communication. Cultural Variability “Cultural Universal” meaning that every culture has the same customs but it varied how they execute and perform such customs; Cultural universals include the customs on; Adornment, courtship, dancing, hospitality, education, family, food taboos, religion, funeral rites, wedding ceremony, gestures and sexual restrictions. Example: All people adorn themselves, but they do it in various ways. In religion, some believe in one god (monotheism) while many believe in many gods (polytheism)

2 Important Concept in culture variability a. Ethnocentrism- tendency to regard their culture as the best and superior to others. Ex; racial discrimination b. Cultural relativity/ relativism- no universal right/ wrong and good/ bad for evaluating cultural phenomenon. Customs can only be judged by how well or how poorly they fit in with other aspects of culture. Ex: Polygamy/ having several wives Other concepts of cultural significance Subcultures- subgroups of people who don’t think/ behave alike. They share most of society’s norms, values, beliefs but they change some of society’s ideas to reflect more closely to their own needs. Important features of subculture: 1. Provide a sense of belonging and identity. 2. develop unique features 3. rules of behavior are set up for dealing with the outside world. 4. supports group members in their daily activity 5. even if they are ridiculed by other groups in society, subculture members know that upon returning on their own, they will receive social support and approval Ex: homosexuals 6. Special signals- they are the same with the way they use language, dress, handshakes. They uses special signals to notice/ identify each other w/o being notice by an outsiders 7. The feeling of “us” against “them”

Culture Shock- believe that their own way is the only right way only to find out that it is not all the same, people who experience this become upset when they are confronted w/ those of another culture. Ex; Migrants Culture Lag- inability of a given society to adapt to a culture immediately. Cultural Dualism- possess dual culture that was adopted from influences of other culture Ex: East and Western culture of the Filipinos.

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Popular culture (or pop culture) is the culture — patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activities significance and importance — which are popular, well-liked or common. This is often defined or determined by the mass media. Popular culture is deemed as what is popular within the social context — that of which is most strongly represented by what is perceived to be popularly accepted among society. Otherwise, popular culture is also suggested to be the widespread cultural elements in any given society that are perpetuated through that society's vernacular language or lingua franca. It comprises the daily interactions, needs and desires and cultural 'moments' that make up the everyday lives of the mainstream. It can include any number of practices, including those pertaining to cooking, clothing, consumption, mass media and the many facets of entertainment such as sports and literature. Popular culture often contrasts with a more exclusive, even elitist "high culture,", that is, the culture of ruling social groups. High Culture can be found especially in Europe, governments have been prepared to subsidize high culture through the funding of museums, opera and ballet companies, orchestras, cinema, public broadcasting stations such as BBC Radio 3, ARTE and in other ways. Obsession with perfection I remember the days in college when I had to take up the most boring, difficult and irrelevant course known to man. Econometrics. It was a three hour class that we had to take three times a day and involved the use of a computer, a calculator and the drawing of a graph in order to solve a single problem. In an attempt to keep our sanity during this semester, a friend of mine came up with a game we could play that would keep the entire class occupied for three hours and yet not alert the professor to what we were doing. On a sheet of paper she would write down questions such as “who is the most sexually frustrated professor in the social science department?” then she would pass the paper to the person sitting next to her after writing her own answer, and then that person would pass it to the next person and so on and so forth. Reading the comments of the people before you was always amusing; we would snicker at the remarks of other people while writing down our own opinion. While this might not seem like the most trilling game ever invented, in comparison to listening to the profession drone on about linear regression, we may as well have been watching and x -rated film because it held our attention.'

But of all the questions that were asked during that semester only one stuck with me. The question was “ if you learnt you were soon going to be a parent and were given the option of having a child that was intelligent beyond words or having a child whose physical beauty knew no bounds which would you choose?” now mind you this was not one of those question were you could write you ‘I choose both to have a little of both,’ you had to pick one option. When it was my turn to write down my answer, I looked above to the comments of others and was shocked to see that EVERYONE had written that they would choose the beautiful child over a smart child. Some even explained why, writing statements like: “nobody wants to marry an ugly person” or “beautiful people get further in life” and my personal favorite “there are enough smart people in the world, but we need more hotties..” those statements shocked me so much that I wrote down as my response “I would choose to have a smart child because beauty is fleeting. In many cases, beauty tends to diminish with age but this is not necessarily the case with intelligence, besides beauty is relative. A beautiful woman in the Philippines may not be considered a beautiful in Africa!!” then I passed the paper on to my friend who read my answer and began to laugh so hard that the professor asked what was going on. She came up with some lame excuse and later whispered to me “Gosh Sol, when are you going to stop giving Miss World contestant answers to simple questions.” After class we had a discussion on the topic and everyone maintained their stance. Beauty in today’s world is more relevant than intelligence. And with the same passion with which they adhered to their position on the matter, I held to mine. But the truth was I was second guessing my answer. I began to ask myself did the world really appreciate smart people? All the evidence around me pointed to a big NO! After all the magazines on newsstands and even mainstream news network spoke about celebrity like they were gods and avoided real news like the ongoing war, crisis in third world countries and global warming. People like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears have become infused in the everyday vocabulary of the average 15 year old girl were as women like Ellen Johnson - Sirleaf, Condoleezza Rice and Maya Angelou remain virtual enigmas. But am I above reproach? Have I not also circum to societal pressures at some point or another during my 21 years on Earth?? I’m, 5ft 3inches and weight; on a good day 120 pounds. On normal days… (Days when I decide to participate in the normal human activity known as eating… Lol) I weigh 125 pounds. I do not know what my body measurements are, (Really I have NO CLUE what they are, I mean every time I buy a bra I end up trying like 5 or 6 different sizes… hmm.. was that too much information??? Lol… yup I think so.) Well anyways like I was saying, I have no idea what my body measurements are, but I know they are not what I would like them to be. If it were left to me, I would be tall like Kimora Lee Simmons, have the body of Halle Berry or Selma Hayek have glorious skin like Gabrielle Union, eyes like Tyra Banks, talent like Corrine Bailey Rae, Mary J Blige or India Arie. But I don’t. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t hate the way I look, in fact I am very confident in my appearance (if I wasn’t I would not refer to myself as the FABULOSLY FIERCE SOL CAPALA) but sometime, I can’t help but wonder if I am falling victim to the public perception of what an attractive person my age looks like.

By watching what I eat so I can fit into those pair of skinny jeans. Getting my hair done so it looks just like the hair style of my favorite actress on some recent award show or purchasing an overpriced fashion accessory that I will only wear once. We are fast becoming a generation that is void of any originality. Everywhere I look I see another poor imitation of a celebrity. But then again, maybe it’s not the media that drives us towards an unrealistic goal of perfection. Maybe it’s attention from the opposite sex. We’ve all done it; spend two hours deciding whether to wear the green dress or the short skirt? Check ourselves in the mirror every 15minutes, squeeze into a pair of jeans two sizes too small so that our ‘assets’ are put on display, but it’s not women who seek attention, men do it too. Jay –Z explains this phenomenon in the track which features R. Kelly entitled “The Power of the P-u-*-*-y,” in Jay’s opinion everything a man does is an attempt to get a woman to notice him or get a woman to be with him. But have we become so materialistic as a society that the only way to be noticed is to almost prostitute yourself if you are a woman or hustle to make money if you are a man. What’s wrong with being ourselves? You know, no hair colors, no extensions, no 300 Peso manicure, no breasts hanging all out , no purchasing of a new car, no throwing of money around, no flossing, no fronting just plain old everyday human beings… what’s so wrong with that?? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being ourselves. I believe that either intentionally or by default we have allowed the media to influence our perceptions and sometimes even our actions. I think in the end it’s all about money, the media pump out pictures of air brushed computer modified models/celebrities, telling us how we can be like them. The “them” don’t even exist in the first place. We go to the store and buy every kind of lotion, gadget, whatever can help us look like the pictures of “them,” then we return to the TV or magazines to see if there are any changes the “them” are making and how we can make the same changes. It’s a cycle, fuelled by the media, the entertainment industry and the advertising companies. Ok, that might have sounded like a conspiracy theory but it makes sense doesn’t it? I mean we’ve been exposed to TV since before we could even say dada or mama. On to the first question, I would definitely choose intelligence, sure the media would have us believe that beautiful people rule the world but this isn’t true. Models, celebrities, basketball players, and other public figures kiss butt every now and then to get what they want? Who are these people that our demigods kiss up to? Well, they are the people with intelligence, they are the ones who run the record label companies, the people who run the basketball teams, the people who run Time Warner, Paramount pictures, NBC, ABC, CBS, BBC and a host of other intials. They are the people we never see on TV. I don’t know about you but if I had to choose between kissing butt and having my butt kissed, I think it’s pretty much a no brainer. So I say to the world PUCKER UP cos intelligence rocks.

What beauty means to women today and why that is. Study conducted across ten countries: the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Italy, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Brazil, Argentina and Japan. In 1913, Webster’s dictionary defined beauty as “properties pleasing the eye, the ear, the Intellect, the aesthetic faculty or the moral sense.” Globally, 9 in 10 women want to change some aspect of their appearance with the greatest dissatisfaction found with their body weight and shape. Two thirds of women around the world, from fifteen-year-olds to sixty-year-olds, avoid basic activities of life because they feel badly about the way they look. The desire for perfection leaves many women around the world with feelings of anxiety and inadequacy about their over- all appearance. In the study, women were given a list consisting only of positive or neutral adjectives to describe their looks (including; “natural,” “average,” “beautiful,” “sexy” and “gorgeous”) and asked to choose the one they felt most comfortable with. An overwhelming majority, women around the world are most comfortable using the words natural (31%) or average (29%) to describe their looks. Only 2% of women around the world choose beautiful to describe their looks, fewer even than choose “attractive” (9%), “feminine” (8%), “good-looking” (7%) or “cute” (7%). Today’s Beauty Ideals: “It is hard to feel personally beautiful when confronted with today’s beauty ideals.” Can you guess which country young girls (15-17) agreed the most with this statement? Answer: Great Britain (76%) The definition of Beauty: “The idea of beauty is often too narrowly defined by physical attributes” Can you guess which country young girls (15-17) agreed the most with this statement? This sentiment of a narrow definition of beauty was shared by the majority of women across the globe except China, where Western beauty ideals are newer phenomenon.

In reviewing the findings, it became apparent that – when women report on the messages they get from popular culture and the media – the idea of “beauty” and the idea of “physical attractiveness” are treated as largely synonymous. Furthermore, both are seen as highly valued by society, but, at the same time, rendered almost impossible to attain. The study reveals that women see beauty and physical attractiveness as increasingly socially mandated and rewarded, with almost two-thirds strongly agreeing that: ♦“Women today are expected to be more physically attractive than their mother’s generation was” (63%); and, ♦“Society expects women to enhance their physical attractiveness” (60%). Furthermore, 45% of all women strongly agree that “women who are more beautiful have greater opportunities in life.” Interestingly, Japanese women are the only group who do not see society as mandating the idea of beauty and physical attractiveness. We speculate that this is because ideals of “physical attractiveness” and “beauty” are more internalized among Japanese women. They see less dissonance or conflict between what they desire and Japanese social norms. Social pressures are reinforced by perceptions regarding the role of men in driving up the beauty standard. More than half of women (59%) strongly agree that “physically attractive women are more valued by men.” Given the high value placed on marriage and romantic relationships by women and the importance of these to their happiness and self-esteem, we can see how this perception can negatively impact life satisfaction and well-being—especially among younger women. Importantly, women see female beauty as consisting of a range of qualities and attributes – often in combination. In fact, they rate many inner qualities ahead of physical appearance attributes in their evaluation of “what makes a woman beautiful.” This does not mean that women reject the physical components of beauty – far from it. Rather, it demonstrates that “beauty” is seen by women as richer and more complex than the physical ideals that dominate popular culture. Thus women rate qualities such as happiness, kindness, confidence, dignity and humor as powerful components of female beauty, along with the appearance of a woman’s skin, physical and facial appearance and body weight and shape.

♦ Although all women rate certain inner qualities as very important to making a woman beautiful, women in Italy and Brazil in particular place greater value than those in other countries in physical appearance, facial and skin appearance and body weight and shape in defining a woman’s beauty. ♦ Women from Brazil, Argentina, Italy and Japan also place a relatively greater level of value on having a sense of style and makeup and cosmetics in defining a woman’s beauty, compared to women in other countries surveyed. Women around the world would like to see the media change in the way it represents beauty, with the majority strongly agreeing that they wished that: ♦ Female beauty was portrayed in the media as being made up of more than just physical attractiveness (76%). ♦ The media did a better job of portraying women of diverse physical attractiveness – age, shape and size (75%). In the Philippines: The belief that "white is beautiful" is held by many Filipino women, leading them to stay out of the sun to keep their skin from getting dark. Even at a young age, children are taught and practice this belief. Furthermore, many of these women use bleaching or whitening skin products to keep their skin white, this bias towards favoring white skin came from the influential occupations of the Spanish and the Americans, and continues among many Filipinos to this day. Fatness may also be associated with wealth, while being too skinny may be seen as a sign of poverty.

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Urban Life Lifestyle across the top cities in the world NYC, USA  New Yorkers say the city wouldn't look quite right without what is quickly becoming a symbol of the Big Apple: machine gun-toting police officers and bomb-sniffing dogs. If the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, have changed the way Americans live, New York -- the city hit hardest by terrorism and aware that it could be a target for more -- has been the first to adapt to that change. The city has been on orange alert since the security code was created in 2001, prompting random bus searches and barricades around synagogues to become a way of life. When municipal officials announced that the city's "orange-plus" security clampdown will continue throughout the holidays and that warplanes will begin periodically flying over the city this holiday week after authorities in Washington increased the national threat level Sunday, typical New Yorkers appeared unfazed. A New Orker said: "You come to realize that this is part of the city's package. You just have to be alert and vigilant," "You also become immune to it all. There's been anthrax scares, there are always bomb threats. We've had a blackout." New Yorkers have since become used to constant security checks and they understand why it is all happening. "People know why this is necessary and why this is necessary always wins out,"  What images come to mind when you think of New York City? Bustling streets, very cosmopolitan, well dressed individuals? The most notable element often is, that everywhere you look, people are walking. You think of the stereotypical New Yorker, coffee in one hand, nose buried in the newspaper, trench coat blowing behind them as they scuttle off to the office. This hectic, hurried on-the-go lifestyle could be the reason New York residents live longer than those living in other U.S. cities. A recent article in New York Magazine reported that an NYC resident born in 2004 can expect to live 9 months longer than the average North American. The metropolitan city used to be known for young deaths when problems like AIDS, drugs and homicide were more prominent issues, but the good news is that things have cleaned up in the city and today’s kids can expect to live 78.6 years.

Lower fatalities combined with hurried lifestyles that involve a lot of speed-walking through the city are all contributing to the longer lifespan; the average New Yorker is 10 lbs lighter than the average American. Eleanor Simonsick put it well: “When you irritatedly blow past a trio of ambling visitors from Ohio or Iowa on the subway platform, you’re not just being an obnoxious New Yorker. You’re demonstrating that you’re going to outlive them—and enjoy better health while they slowly degrade.” Driving in the city is just way too chaotic, so most New Yorkers opt for walking, even if it’s just to the nearest subway station (hello StairMaster) or, if they can afford it, they take a cab. The smoking ban implemented in 2003 helps raise life expectancy rates too, so does last year’s ban on trans-fats. Point is, the chaotic-aggressive lifestyle seems to be working, so next time you’re in your own metropolitan core, get in the crowds, raise those elbows, and power on through! Tokyo, Japan Tokyo is a city that portrays strong traditions despite its modern lifestyle and unique fashion culture. Being the city that gave birth to many technological breakthrough in the world, Tokyo’s architecture is one that can be marveled, with cross interlinked highways featuring numerous traffic solutions and the city’s subway network reaching almost every area in Tokyo. Combined with the use of its unsurpassed subway system, the most ideal vehicle to get around in the city might not be a car but most probably, a bicycle? Culture identity Ancient Heritage Being the most developed and modern of all Japan doesn’t stop Tokyo from harboring ancient Japanese traditions, as you can still see a myriad of kimono clad Tokyoites in the bustling crowds. Traditional stage plays such as the 400 years old Kabuki is centered at Tokyo’s premier Kabukiza theater in Ginza, and Noh, with almost 650 years of history throbes in the midst of Shibuya, which is also the youth culture tick district.

Present Tokyoites Lifestyle Modern Tokyo culture consists of people, who care about small details not found anywhere else in the process of portraying their identity by unique fashion, instead of dressing like their favorite celebrities, which is still common practice by other Tokyoites. Some of the many faces of fashion in Tokyo can be found at the district exclusive walking doll cuties of Harajuku and Ginza’s dashingly vogue girls and apart from dressing, another fashion aspect to behold in city is the hairstyles. With so many interesting styles fashioned by young Tokyoites, it’s known even among the locals that “people-seeing” is just as exciting as sightseeing. City layout The whole city is a dense jungle of high-rise office buildings and tall condominiums, with every inch of landscape vertically optimized, there are almost little or no low-rise structures at all, yet there’s still a few parks that can be found in Tokyo, a sign showing how the people of Tokyo cherish recreational escapes. And some may find surprising similarities between Tokyo’s Ginza district and New York’s 5th avenue. The best way to get around in Tokyo Bicycles are the best way to get around in Tokyo and the city provides many commodities for it too, like shops offering rental bikes at a reasonable fee, to parking stations found outside almost every building. You’re also allowed to bring your bike in the subway transit and it’s no hassle if it’s a folding bike but if it’s not, I’m afraid you have to disassemble it and carry the pieces of it with you, luckily plastic bags are provided. Every subway station in Tokyo is within riding distance of the other, meaning you can travel to every famous location in Tokyo at a comfortable pace and still be able to head to other places of interest in a short while. With the Tokyoites taking fashion very seriously, you might want to consider riding in Tokyo with a more exclusive folding bike, a Puma Urban Mobilty folding bike or an ultra lightweight Brompton M3L-X might do the job nicely as both are made exclusively for commuting, with style. Seoul, Korea Seoul is a city engineered towards environmental, cultural and technological breakthroughs, balancing each aspect without either one overruling the other. Branded the “world most wired country“, Seoul also plays a large hand in preserving its histories and traditions.

Architecture and landscape Once an advocate of rampant development, Seoul has taken a step back from the frenzy and started to focus on restoring its heritage. The government of Seoul, investing relentlessly, is serious when it comes to beautification of the city, and even obstacles as vast as a major highway, in one case, is razed to restore its 50 years of history Cheonggecheon River. Despite the tall buildings it houses, Seoul has a myriad of centuries old palaces, pagodas, temples and pleasure gardens, and some are gracefully laid in the midst of modern landscape, giving a magnificent contrast between modern and traditional Korean culture. Modern culture and lifestyle The people of Seoul, being the world most wired people, has not only enjoyed the fast and easily accessible internet connectivity, but also adopted internet related activities into their culture. Blogging enthusiastically and wading the internet through their high-tech phones to watch movies are just some of their common antiques, but the main impact lies in their national sports, you’ll never see this one coming, which is electronic gaming. Mobile phone and fashion scene With two out of three Seoulites owning mobile phones 10 times faster than the ones in the United States, some of us might wonder, what gives? Well, called home by some of the world’s largest mobile phone corporations, Samsung and LG, Seoulites enjoy cutting edge mobile phone technologies provided by those very corporations, who also played a hand in putting Seoul a step ahead in the mobile phone industry. So unless your phones have distinctive features or aspects, chances are that they won’t even know of its existence. Having not only mobile phone breakthroughs, Seoul also has another market hit among its locals, fashion. Being the base of operations for the legendary designer Andre Kim, also South Korea’s first designer to have a fashion show in Paris, Seoul’s fashion scene is of equal standing as its mobile phone scene, landing the city as the fashion hub of the nation. With an array of new local names arising in Seoul’s fashion industry, fashion stores and shopping complexes are vibrant with both local labels (mVIO, Caspo Conus, Noxon, etc) and international brands (Gucci, Prada, Fubu, etc). With the fusion of both worlds, Seoul’s culture has triggered several high profiled collaborations between its mobile phone corporations, Samsung and LG, and world renowned fashion labels, Giorgio Armani and Prada, resulting in the birth of the distinctive and iconic Samsung Giorgio Armani and LG Prada mobile phones which will surely put you out of the crosshairs of the local fashion police.

Hongkong Hong Kong is a modern island-city, with high-rise buildings reflecting on the waters surrounding it, the city looks magnificently majestic at night. Upon setting your foot in Hong Kong the first thing you’ll notice is how similar it is to New York, with the majority of its lands is filled with skyscrapers and bustling crowds. With exotic location and premium real estate, Hong Kong attracts numerous elite individuals and media personalities, escalating a high standard of fashion awareness. Hong Kong’s population, being pretty fashion savvy and unburdened by price tags, has developed a deep affinity in designer wear and not only does they invest in famous international brands like Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton, even the local designers is largely celebrated, Doriano to name one(although the label is now an international name). However, when strolling in the streets of Hong Kong, you’ll notice everywhere you turn there’s always a few people, if not many, sporting designer eyewear. In fact if you’re not into fashion eyewear, Hong Kong is good place to start as the majority of its crowd carries the trend like they were born with both the glasses and the style, so it’s only natural if you cruise along looking like Brad Pitt with a pair of his Dita Ambassador Sunglasses on. Because the locals have developed a crave for coffee, it’s hard not to run into a Starbucks in Hong Kong as its outlets are located at almost every major landmark, so there’s little to worry about when you’re lost in Hong Kong. I’ll recommend you my favorite outlet, which is at the busy Central MTR subway station, located in the middle of Hong Kong’s shopping district and surrounded by posh five star hotels, this Starbucks outlet attracts numerous other tourists and is easily accessible in case you want a coffee break from your shopping spree, before heading home, at least you can update your blog or check out your email while sipping your fatigue away.