SALAZAR COLLEGES OF SCIENCE AND INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
SOC.ST – TEACHING SOCIAL STUDIES IN ELEMENTARY GRADE (CULTURE AND GEOGRAPHY)
The Concepts of Culture
• One of the earliest definitions of culture was put forth by Tylor in 1871: “Culture, or civilization, is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.”
• The book defines culture as, “a society’s shared and socially transmitted ideas, values and perceptions, which are used to make sense of experience and generate behavior and are reflected in that behavior.”
• All cultures have to provide for the physical, emotional, and social needs of their members, enculturate new members, resolve conflicts and promote survival for their members.
• Society must balance the needs of the whole with the needs of the individual. If individual needs are continually suppressed, social systems can become unstable and individual stress can become too much to handle. Every culture has its own methods of balancing the needs of society in relation to individual needs.
• Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.
• Culture is the systems of knowledge shared by a relatively large group of people.
• Culture in its broadest sense is cultivated behavior; that is the totality of a person’s learned, accumulated experience which is socially transmitted, or more briefly, behavior through social learning.
• A culture is a way of life of a group of people–the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next.
• Culture is symbolic communication. Some of its symbols include a group’s skills, knowledge, attitudes, values, and motives. The meanings of the symbols are learned and deliberately perpetuated in a society through its institutions.
• Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievement of human groups, including their embodiments in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional ideas and especially their attached values; culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, on the other hand, as conditioning influences upon further action.
• Culture is the sum of total of the learned behavior of a group of people that are generally considered to be the tradition of that people and are transmitted from generation to generation.
• Culture is a collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another.
• Subcultures are groups with distinct patterns of learned and shared behavior (ethnicities, races, genders, age categories) within a larger culture. Despite these distinctive traits, members of subcultures still share commonalities with the larger society. Subcultures exist in most state level systems because those systems are pluralistic, they encompass more than one ethnic group or culture.
Characteristics of Culture
• Culture is learned. It is not biological; we do not inherit it. Much of learning culture is unconscious. We learn culture from families, peers, institutions, and media. The process of learning culture is known as socialization or enculturation. While all humans have basic biological needs such as food, sleep, and sex, the way we fulfill those needs varies cross-culturally.
• Culture is shared. Because we share culture with other members of our group, we are able to act in socially appropriate ways as well as predict how others will act. Despite the shared nature of culture, that doesn’t mean that culture is homogenous (the same). These shared beliefs, values and expectations make our interactions meaningful and enable us to predict each other’s behavior in a given situation and to respond accordingly. Common experiences unify people.
• Culture is based on symbols. A symbol is something that stands for something else. Symbols vary cross-culturally and are arbitrary. They only have meaning when people in a culture agree on their use. Language, money and art are all symbols. Language is the most important symbolic component of culture.
• Culture is integrated. This is known as holism, or the various parts of a culture being interconnected. All aspects of a culture are related to one another and to truly understand a culture, one must learn about all of its parts, not only a few.
• Culture is dynamic. This simply means that cultures interact and change. Because most cultures are in contact with other cultures, they exchange ideas and symbols. All cultures change, otherwise, they would have problems adapting to changing environments. And because cultures are integrated, if one component in the system changes, it is likely that the entire system must adjust.
• Culture is transmitted orally and by writing. As well as consciously or unconsciously from one generation to another or within the same generation in an endless number of ways: through conditioning, imitation, suggestion, identification, reward and punishment, formal instruction, and mass communication.
• Culture is adaptive. No culture is static and each individual or generation makes adjustments. To cope with the environmental stresses, humans can draw on both biological traits or learned, symbol-based behavior patterns. In contrast with other animals, human beings depend on culture to adapt to their physical environment.
• Culture is compulsory. The members of a society have to follow the culture in their dealings with others if they wish to get along successfully. Persons who want to violate some aspects of the culture have to toe the line or else suffer sanctions for their violation. People may feel like killing a person after being insulted but they have to restrain themselves, for they land in jail.
ETHNOCENTRISM AND THE EVALUATION OF CULTURE
The diversity of cultural practices and adaptations to the problems of human existence often lead some to question which practices are the best. Ethnocentrism is when one views their own culture as the best and only proper way to behave and adapt.
• Since most humans believe their culture is the best and only way to live, there are small amounts of ethnocentrism everywhere in the world.
• Small doses help to create a sense of cultural pride and to build strong, cohesive groups.
• But taken to extremes, and certainly when it includes an unwillingness to be tolerant, it can be destructive. Ethnocentrism is at the heart of colonization and genocide.
• Cultural anthropologists have, however, pushed for cultural relativism, the principle that all cultures must be understood in terms of their own values and beliefs, not by the standards of another. Under this principle, no culture is better than any other and cultures can only be judged on whether they are meeting the needs of their own people.
THE DIMENSIONS OF CULTURE
These represent the nonmaterial aspects of culture. Humans express the meaning of their experiences through ideas. The culture lives on through the ideas which are transmitted from one generation to another.
These represent man’s conviction about the reality of things and are shared ideas about how the world operates. These ideas are not scientifically proven, they are considered facts by those who hold them. Emotions, attitudes and values may influence the choice of beliefs.
These are the socially accepted and shared ideas about what is right. They constitute ideals of the society and set the standards for desirable and good behavior. Among our values are respect for elders, acquiring a high level of education, courage and honesty.
• COMMON UNDERSTANDING
This refers to the use of gestures in interacting with other members of the group without the constant need to explain what one is doing. This common understanding can be expressed by blink of the eyes, tone of voice, use of the hand, or some kind of body language.
• NORMS AND SANCTIONS
These are the rules or standards of behavior expected of us to follow. Norms are shared rules or ideals designating behavior in certain situations. They serve as useful instructions on how to do something in such a way that others in the group know what one is doing. Norms indicate the society’s standards of propriety, morality, ethics, and legality. Before, parents were very strict about courtship, maintaining a definite place or time for courtship and requiring a chaperon for the young girl when she goes out. At present, some parents have relaxed these rules. However, when members of the group violate the norms, sanctions are imposed on them by society. These sanctions aim to control their errant behavior. The sanctions may be informal or formal, positive or negative.
These are the habits, conventions, customs and repetitive patterns of expected behavior and tend to be self-perpetuating. They are customary, popular and widely followed but do not require conformity. These include rules of eating, drinking, cooking, sleeping, dancing, modes of greetings and farewell ceremonies, rituals of polite behavior, and rules of conduct in institutional settings. Putting up a Christmas tree during Christmas season and holding family reunions are common folkways in the Philippines.
These are social norms that are essential to the welfare of the group and their cherished values. They have moral or ethical value and are associated with the strong feelings of right and wrong. The enforcement of mores takes the form of taboos, acts which are prohibited or forbidden such as incest, child abuse, battering wives and prostitution. The Ten Commandments constitute an important source of mores. Violators of mores are regarded as immoral, sinful, vicious or antisocial.
These are formalized norms defined by a governing body or public authority. Some mores are enacted into laws and enforced by political and legal authorities. The Constitution, Presidential Decrees and orders, the Civil Code and the Declaration of Human Rights are examples of laws.
• FASHION, FADS, CRAZES
These are short-lived social norms which demand compliance at the time they operate. Styles of dresses, shoes, bags, and hairdos are examples. The same is true of styles of houses, furnitures, cars and gadgets. The prestige and status of a person depends on his/her use of the style that is current.
• MATERIAL CULTURE AND TECHNOLOGY
Material culture refers to all the physical, tangible and concrete objects produced by people and determines the physical options and opportunities of the society.
The society’s level of technological development is determined by the quantity of artifacts and the level of educational attainment and skills its members have.
• LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
Edward Sapir defined language as a purely non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions, and drives by means of voluntarily-produced symbols.
Language is an integral part of culture and human culture cannot exist without it.
• CULTURAL DIVERSITY
Diversity in culture is brought about by differences in the way people meet and respond to their biological and psychological needs and the manner by which people adapt to their environment. Differences in geographical characteristics, climate, topography, social conditions and natural resources account for social and cultural differences.
Subcultures are groups which follow certain dominant values and norms maintained by a particular society, yet they have their own unique set of norms, attitudes and values which sets them apart.
• CULTURE SHOCK
It is the feeling of unpleasantness or disorientation experienced when one goes to an unfamiliar setting. Culture shock may be experienced even within one’s country.
The view to regard one’s culture as right and normal with a superior attitude. It means a belief that one’s group is the center of the universe and one scales and rates other cultures with reference to it. It is judging the behavior of others in relation to one’s own cultural values and tradition.
• CULTURAL RELATIVISM
This connotes the idea that in viewing a certain culture, one must understand the culture in terms of its own values and beliefs and not by the standard of one’s culture. It assumes that no culture is better than any other
Activity No. 1 Collage Making
Directions: Collect pictures portraying Philippine culture. Make a collage from these pictures and
paste on 1/8 cartolina.
Originality – 40 pts
Clarity – 40 pts
Creativity/Neatness – 20 pts
TOTAL ——————– 100 points
Activity No. 2 Philippines vs. USA
Identify the cultural elements of the Philippines and the United States of America(USA). Fill in the missing information (1/2 sized manila paper)
Culture Philippines USA
Holiday and Ceremony
Activity No. 3 Before and After
Print 5 pictures of household utensils or any materials used in the past and in the present. Be sure to write the names below the items. (1/8 cartolina)
Activity No. 4 Comic Strip Interpretation
Make a free style composition regarding this comic strip. You can express anything coming out from your mind.
You can make comments, reactions and suggestions about the comics. ( long bondpaper)
Activity No. 5 Matching Type
Match the following pictures with the correct dimensions of culture. (notebook)
1. ____________________________ 2. ___________________________
3. _____________________________ 4. ____________________________
5. _____________________________ 6. _____________________________