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Ch 2: Understanding Culture

About This Chapter

For an overview of fundamental culture topics, review this series of short lessons and quizzes. These convenient online study resources are designed to improve your culture knowledge for intercultural communications exams, homework, projects, essays or any other academic need.

Understanding Culture - Chapter Summary

Take a look at this chapter's informative video lessons to review important topics related to culture. After identifying the elements that define a culture, our expert instructors will walk you through topics related to intercultural communication, enculturation, cultural evolution, cultural perception, ethnic identify and much more. Each lesson comes with a short quiz to help you retain these cultural terms and concepts. The chapter is available online at any time, and you can access these resources using any device that has an Internet connection. Upon completion of the chapter, you should be able to:

  • Distinguish between material and nonmaterial cultures
  • Recognize the major elements of culture
  • Discuss models and strategies of intercultural communication
  • Compare enculturation and acculturation, as well as cultural evolution and cultural relativism
  • Assess examples of cultural perception
  • Differentiate between high-context and low context cultures
  • Evaluate high and low power distance cultural communications
  • Describe the roles of different worldviews in intercultural communication
  • Identify the main agents of socialization
  • Define the concept of ethnic identity

12 Lessons in Chapter 2: Understanding Culture
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.

Intercultural Communication: Definition, Model & Strategies

3. Intercultural Communication: Definition, Model & Strategies

Communication is a pretty important part of daily life, but what do you do when you need to communicate with someone from another culture? Explore the ideas behind intercultural communication and test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Comparing Enculturation & Acculturation

4. Comparing Enculturation & Acculturation

How do we learn to interact in a culture? In this lesson you will explore two different processes, enculturation and acculturation, and then get to test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Comparing Cultural Evolution & Cultural Relativism

5. Comparing Cultural Evolution & Cultural Relativism

There are many theories that try to explain cultural development and change. In this lesson, you will explore two of them, cultural evolution and cultural relativism, and then test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Cultural Perception: Definition & Examples

6. Cultural Perception: Definition & Examples

How does culture influence how an individual perceives their world? This lesson looks at how culture influences perception by defining the terms involved and providing examples of cultural perception.

High-Context Culture: Definition & Examples

7. High-Context Culture: Definition & Examples

High-context culture is a phrase that was created by anthropologist Edward T. Hall in the 1970s to describe a culture's style of communication. Learn more about high-context cultures from examples and test your knowledge with a quiz.

Low-Context Culture: Definition & Overview

8. Low-Context Culture: Definition & Overview

Low-context culture is a term used by anthropologist Edward T. Hall in 1976 to describe a communication style that relies heavily on explicit and direct language. Learn more about low-context cultures from examples and test your knowledge with a quiz.

Comparing Low & High Power Distance Cultural Communications

9. Comparing Low & High Power Distance Cultural Communications

Different cultures have different ideas about power. In this lesson, you will explore the relationship between power distribution and cultural values. Afterwards, test your understanding with a brief quiz.

The Role of Worldview in Intercultural Communication

10. The Role of Worldview in Intercultural Communication

Different people from different cultures can have completely different viewpoints on the same topic. Why? We will learn about it in this lesson, as well as, look into a few examples in government, religion, healthcare, and more.

Agents of Socialization: Family, Schools, Peers and Media

11. 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.

Ethnic Identity: Definition and Development

12. Ethnic Identity: Definition and Development

The term ethnic identity refers to the group with which an individual identifies. This lesson will discuss ethnic identity and the way it emerges and changes throughout the lifespan.

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