About This Chapter
Social Studies Concepts: Cultures - Chapter Summary
These video and text lessons look at how culture is defined. Our expert instructors examine cultural subsets and perceptions of culture, theories of culture, and emotional differences across cultures. Additionally, monochronic and polychronic time are examined, as are ways to interpret visual representations of historical data. These lessons will give you an understanding of topics including:
- Material and nonmaterial culture
- Major elements of culture
- Cultural subsets
- Ideal versus real culture
- Ethnocentism and culture relativism
- Theories of culture
- Cultural perceptions of time in organizations
Each lesson is about five minutes long and can be accessed via your computer, smartphone or tablet. Self-assessment quizzes following the lessons help you evaluate your learning, with answer keys containing links back to pertinent parts of the lessons. You can even print out a worksheet of questions to review offline. The Dashboard feature lets you monitor your study progress and may even have suggestions for other courses to help you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
6. Culture and the Individual: Real Culture vs. Ideal Culture
This lesson will seek to explain the difference between ideal and real culture. In doing so, it will give an example of each, while also defining the terms culture and norm.
7. How Emotions Differ Across Cultures
Every country and culture expresses emotions in different ways. This is a constantly growing issue for international organizations. In this lesson, we will describe some of these differences.
8. Cultural Perceptions of Time in Organizations: Monochronic and Polychronic Time
Different cultures view time and how it is used in a work environment differently. Some cultures view time as being very concrete and formal, while others view it as just a part of their overall lives. These two perspectives can and do clash when it comes to a business environment.
9. How to Interpret Visual Representations of Historical Data
Think that historians only rely on dense textbooks full of nothing but words, dates, and more words? Think again. Historians actually use a variety of visual representations, ranging from images that they create to visuals that are sources themselves.
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