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Ch 4: Foundations of Society

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and learn about different aspects that help define a culture. These lessons utilize engaging animations and graphics to help you easily retain key information.

Foundations of Society - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

A culture can be simple, or it can be multi-layered and complex. There can even be cultures within a culture. In this chapter, you'll examine topics related to cultural structures and formation. By the end of this series of video lessons, you'll be able to do the following:

  • Distinguish between material and non-material cultures.
  • Discuss elements that help define a culture.
  • Identify various agents of socialization.
  • Analyze cultures from various theoretical approaches.

VideoObjectives
What is Culture? - Material and Nonmaterial CultureDefine culture, and distinguish between material and nonmaterial culture. Explain the difference among culture, nation and society. Discuss how many cultures exist on Earth.
Elements of Culture: Explanation of the Major Elements that Define CultureExplain different elements of culture, including symbols, language, values and norms.
Cultural Subsets: High Culture, Popular Culture, Subculture, Counterculture & MulticulturalismExplain various subsets of culture, including high culture, popular culture, subculture, counterculture and multiculturalism.
Perceptions of Culture: Ideal Culture and Real Culture, Ethnocentrism & Cultural RelativismDefine ideal culture and real culture, and discuss the gap between the two. Define and discuss ethnocentrism and cultural relativism.
Cultural Analysis: Theoretical ApproachesDescribe different theoretical approaches to analyzing culture, including structural-functional theory, social-conflict theory and sociobiology.
Socialization and Social Isolation: Definition & Case StudiesDefine socialization and explain its importance. Contrast socialization with social isolation. Discuss famous case studies of monkeys and children raised in social isolation.
Agents of Socialization: Family, Schools, Peers and MediaExplain various agents of socialization, including family, schools, peers and mass media.
Social Interaction Theory: Ascribed, Achieved & Master StatusDefine status. Discuss the role of status, including ascribed, achieved and master status, with examples of each.
Social Roles: Definition and Types of Social RolesDiscuss various types of social roles, including role set, conflict strain and exit.
Presentation of Self: Methods to Presenting the SelfLearn about various methods of presenting the self, including performances, nonverbal communication, personal space and idealization.

10 Lessons in Chapter 4: Foundations of Society
What Is Culture? - Material and Nonmaterial Culture

1. What Is Culture? - Material and Nonmaterial Culture

Culture is a huge topic of study for sociologists. In this lesson, we define culture and distinguish between material and nonmaterial culture. As culture, nation, and society are often used interchangeably, we also distinguish between these three concepts.

Elements of Culture: Explanation of the Major Elements That Define Culture

2. Elements of Culture: Explanation of the Major Elements That Define Culture

Culture combines many elements to create a unique way of living for different people. In this lesson, we identify four of the elements that exist in every culture, albeit in different forms: symbols, language, values, and norms. We also differentiate between folkways and mores.

Cultural Subsets: High Culture, Popular Culture, Subculture, Counterculture & Multiculturalism

3. Cultural Subsets: High Culture, Popular Culture, Subculture, Counterculture & Multiculturalism

In this lesson, we identify several categories of cultures that can exist within a large culture. We define and discuss subcultures, high culture versus popular culture, and countercultures. We also discuss the view of multiculturalism in the U.S.

Perceptions of Culture: Ideal Culture and Real Culture, Ethnocentrism, & Culture Relativism

4. Perceptions of Culture: Ideal Culture and Real Culture, Ethnocentrism, & Culture Relativism

The way we perceive culture - both our own and that of others - is affected by many things. In this lesson, we define and discuss the difference between perceptions of ideal culture and real culture. We also examine ethnocentrism and compare it to the idea of culture relativism.

Cultural Analysis: Theoretical Approaches

5. Cultural Analysis: Theoretical Approaches

In this lesson, we cover three theoretical approaches used by sociologists to analyze culture: structural-functional theory, social-conflict theory, and sociobiology. We define and discuss each theory, along with examples.

Socialization and Social Isolation: Definition & Case Studies

6. Socialization and Social Isolation: Definition & Case Studies

Interestingly, socialization seems to be the process that makes us act human. Here, we define socialization and discuss its importance to human development. We also contrast it to social isolation and discuss several case studies regarding what happens when humans don't or can't socialize.

Agents of Socialization: Family, Schools, Peers and Media

7. Agents of Socialization: Family, Schools, Peers and Media

The socialization that we receive in childhood has a lasting effect on our ability to interact with others in society. In this lesson, we identify and discuss four of the most influential agents of socialization in childhood: family, school, peers, and media.

Social Interaction Theory: Ascribed, Achieved & Master Status

8. Social Interaction Theory: Ascribed, Achieved & Master Status

In this lesson, we discuss social interaction theory, putting particular emphasis on the concept of social statuses. We identify and define several types of statuses, including ascribed, achieved, and master status.

Social Roles: Definition and Types of Social Roles

9. Social Roles: Definition and Types of Social Roles

This lesson focuses on the roles that society socially constructs. We define social roles and identify examples. We also examine types of social roles and what can happen with them, including role conflict, role strain, and role exit.

Presentation of Self: Methods to Presenting The Self

10. Presentation of Self: Methods to Presenting The Self

All of us like to present ourselves to others as someone who is likable and successful. In this lesson, we discuss the concept of dramaturgical analysis as proposed by Erving Goffman. We also talk about the practice of idealization and how nonverbal communication can sometimes sabotage our presentation efforts.

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