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2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

McGraw-Hill
2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
McGraw-Hill
Introduction
Kottak uses E. B. Tylor's definition of culture: 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.
2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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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 for which they stand.
Geertz defines culture as ideas based on cultural learning and
symbols.
2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Culture is Learned
Culture is learned through both direct instruction and
through observation (both conscious and unconscious).
Anthropologists in the 19th century argued for the
psychic unity of man.
This doctrine acknowledges that individuals vary in their
emotional and intellectual tendencies and capacities.
However, this doctrine asserted that all human populations
share the same capacity for culture.
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Culture is Shared
Culture is located and transmitted in groups.
The social transmission of culture tends to unify people
by providing us with a common experience.
The commonalty of experience in turn tends to generate
a common understanding of future events.
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Culture is Symbolic
The human ability to use symbols is the basis of culture
(a symbol is something verbal or nonverbal within a
particular language or culture that comes to stand for
something else).
While human symbol use is overwhelmingly linguistic, a
symbol is anything that is used to represent any other
thing, when the relationship between the two is arbitrary
(e.g. a flag).
Other primates have demonstrated rudimentary ability
to use symbols, but only humans have elaborated
cultural abilitiesto learn, to communicate, to store, to
process, and to use symbols.
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Culture and Nature
Humans interact with cultural constructions of nature,
rather than directly with nature itself.
Culture converts natural urges and acts into cultural
customs.
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Culture is All-Encompassing
The anthropological concept of culture is a model that
includes all aspects of human group behavior.
Everyone is cultured, not just wealthy people with an
elite education.
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Culture is Integrated
A culture is a system: changes in one aspect will likely
generate changes in other aspects.
Core values are sets of ideas, attitudes, and beliefs which
are basic in that they provide an organizational logic for
the rest of the culture.
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People Use Culture Creatively
Humans have the ability to avoid, manipulate, subvert,
and change the rules and patterns of their own
cultures.
Ideal culture refers to normative descriptions of a
culture given by its natives.
Real culture refers to actual behavior as observed by
an anthropologist.
Culture is both public and individual because
individuals internalize the meanings of public (cultural)
messages.
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Culture is Adaptive and Maladaptive
Culture is an adaptive strategy employed by hominids.
Because cultural behavior is motivated by cultural
factors, and not by environmental constraints, cultural
behavior can be maladaptive.
Determining whether a cultural practice is adaptive or
maladaptive frequently requires viewing the results of
that practice from several perspectives (from the point of
view of a different culture, species, or time frame, for
example).
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Levels of Culture
National culture refers to the experiences, beliefs, learned behavior
patterns, and values shared by citizens of the same nation.
International culture refers to cultural practices which are common
to an identifiable group extending beyond the boundaries of one
culture.
Subcultures are identifiable cultural patterns existing within a
larger culture.
Cultural practices and artifacts are transmitted through diffusion.
Direct diffusion occurs when members of two or more previously
distinct cultures interact with each other.
Indirect diffusion occurs when cultural artifacts or practices are
transmitted from one culture to another through an intermediate third
(or more) culture.
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Levels of Culture
Level of Culture

Sports Examples

Food Examples

International

Basketball

Pizza

National

Monster-Truck
Rallies

Apple Pie

Subculture

Bocci

Big Joe Pork
Barbeque (South
Carolina)

Levels of culture, with examples from sports and food.
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Culture: Universal and Particular
Cultural universals are 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.
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Universality
Cultural universals are those traits that distinguish
Homo sapiens from other species.
Some biological universals include: a long period of
infant dependency, year-round sexuality, and a complex
brain that enables us to use symbols, languages, and
tools.
Some psychological universals include the common ways
in which humans think, feel, and process information.
Some social universals include: incest taboos, life in
groups, families (of some kind), and food sharing.
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Generality
Certain practices, beliefs, and the like may be held
commonly by more than one culture, but not be
universal; these are called generalities.
Diffusion and independent invention are two main
sources of cultural generalities.
The nuclear family is a cultural generality since it is
present in most, but not all societies.
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Particularity
Cultural practices that are unique to any one culture are
cultural particulars.
That these particulars may be of fundamental
importance to the population is indicative of the need to
study the sources of cultural diversity.
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Language and Culture

The study of the function, structure, and history of
languages and the communication process in general.

The language that is spoken by the most people in the world
today as a native, or first, language.

Regions of the world that have unusually high densities of
different native languages today.
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Language and Culture

The language that is the most world wide in its
distribution. It is an official language in 52 countries as well
as many small colonies and territories. In addition, 1/4 to
1/3 of the people in the world understand and speak it to
some degree. However, it is only the third most common
language in terms of the number of native speakers.

The fraction of all languages in the world that are no longer
spoken by children.
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Language and Culture

The percent of languages in the world that are primitive in
the sense of not having a system of sounds, words, and
sentences that can adequately communicate the content of
culture.

The number of languages that have added words to modern
English.

The percent of all living languages that change over time.
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Language and Culture

The kinds of cultures that have languages with extremely large
vocabularies.

A term referring broadly to patterned verbal behavior used by humans.

A variant form of a language.

A dialect associated with a geographically isolated speech community.
An example is the Texas in contrast to the Midwestern American dialect.
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Language and Culture
The primary way in which the meaning of a sentence is
changed in Mandarin Chinese.

The number of languages in which speakers must memorize
all possible sentences that can be created. In other words,
simply learning the rules for creating sentences is not
adequate to be able to speak and understand other people
using these languages.

The linguists general term for the distance our bodies are
physically apart while talking with each other.