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World Cultural Festival & Holidays

Category: Social and Management Sciences

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  1. What is culture?
  • Culture (def.): the learned set of practices, beliefs, values, and rules for proper behavior, and material objects that are shared by members of a society
  • culture is a universal feature of human social life
  • culture is learned
  • culture is shared
  • culture is cumulative

Three components of culture:

  • Cognitive component (how we think)
    • language
    • symbols
    • values
    • society?s beliefs (Weltanschauung, world hypotheses, and domain assumptions)
    • understanding of reality
  • Normative component (how we act)
    • norms
    • folkways (group habits, customs)
    • mores (moral imperatives)
  • Material component (what we make)
    • artifacts
    • art
    • architecture
    • other material objects that a society creates and to which it assigns meanings

Ethnocentrism (making judgements about other cultures from the perspective of one's own culture)





2. Expressions of Culture

  • Culture is how people in a region live, behave, and think – Culture is often reflected in symbols – Symbol: an object that stands for something

3. civilization and Culture

  • A civilization’s culture impacts peoples’ morals and values  

4. Culture Regions

  • A culture region is an area that is unified by common cultural traits, or characteristics. – For Example: • Mexico, Central America, and South America form the cultural region of Latin America

5. Social Groups

  • Among social groups, geographers study rich, poor, and middle class people.  They may look at age or gender.  They may study different ethnic groups, or people who share a common language, history, religion, and some physical characteristics.

6. Language

  • One may hear a local form of a language, or dialect, that differs from the main language. – Pop vs. Soda – “Ya’ll ain’t from around here.”

7. Religion

  • Religion helps people answer basic questions about life’s meaning.
  • Religious beliefs vary greatly around the world and have resulted in conflicts and struggles based on religious differences.

8. Daily Life

  • Daily life varies in different cultures, including: – How we get, prepare and eat our food. – Types/shapes of houses. – Routines we have.

9. History

  • History shapes how people view the world.
  • Many cultures celebrate holidays that honor their heroes and heroines.
  • A culture is influenced by how it remembers its successes, as well as its disasters and defeats.

10. Arts

  • Culture is expressed through art, including painting, sculpture, architecture, dance, music, theater, and literature.
  • Insight into a culture can be gained by studying what its people think is beautiful and important.

11. Government

  • Types of government can reflect a country’s culture.
  • A democracy is a form of limited government in which power rests with the people of a nation.
  •  In a representative democracy, such as the United States, citizens elect representatives.

12. Government (cont.)

  • Some governments are led by individuals.
  • In a dictatorship, dictators control and rule as they wish.
  • In a monarchy, kings and queens inherit the power to rule.

13. The Economy

  • In studying how the people of a culture earn a living, geographers study the culture’s economic system.
  • This “system” sets rules for how people decide what goods and services to produce and how they are exchanged.

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