Society and culture!!!
CHAPTER 1- WHAT IS SOCIETY AND CULTURE?
1.1 Intro to society and culture:
o The central concern of Society and Culture in stage 6 is the interaction of persons, societies, cultures, environments and time.
o Through understanding the interaction, you will begin to understand yourself, the society and culture around you, and the societies and cultures of others around them.
o We also recognise four other concepts that are vital to society and culture. These are power, authority, gender and technology.
o This concept refers to the way people organise themselves. For example, the people who make up Australian society are linked through institutions, media networks and sporting organisations.
o Culture generally refers to the values, arts, technology, laws and beliefs that bind a society together.
o It may include examples as diverse as artwork, language, literature, tattoos and religions.
o This refers to individuals who are shaped by their society and culture.
o They develop a social and cultural identity, and learn to communicate and interact with other persons in a society.
o We are all examples of persons interacting in some way with our society.
o This can refer to the physical setting of the society, but there are other types of environments such as the social and psychological environment.
o As persons, our attitude to and interaction with our environment can be critical. The development of individual attitudes in the environment can reflect society’s shared values.
o Time is a constant in all societies and cultures. We choose to measure it in terms of past, present and future.
o The easiest way to understand power is to think about what is that allows people to bring others to do the things they may not normally do.
o It involves a capacity to influence others to follow a course of action or point of view they would not otherwise follow.
o A clear example was the policy of Australian Governments to displace and break up indigenous families.
o This is often confused for power, and can actually be thought of as a subtype of power. It is difficult to imagine authority without some degree of power.
o Authority implies a legitimate use of influence and/or persuasion.
o Someone in authority has the accepted right to make decisions, someone in power would make decisions regardless of what those affected by the decisions think.
o Police, for e.g. have authority to act in a particular way in specified situations, such as confronting a rioting crowd or a criminal suspect.
o This concept refers to the socially constructed differences between men and women.
o It doesn’t refer to the physical or biological differences between males and females, but rather the value society places on those physical and biological differences.
o It may mean that society accepts males as tough and boisterous, while females are accepted as sensitive and shy.
o These beliefs only have meaning because a society gives them one, not because they are based on facts.
o Simply put, technology means the tools that make tasks easier, enhancing the natural ability of persons to perform those tasks.
o For example, the Internet makes communication of information faster and more extensive, and robot machines improve the mass production of motor vehicles.
o Technology is not accessed equally across the world, and countries and companies with access to higher levels of technology are able to produce more products more quickly, and distribute them much more efficiently.
CHAPTER 2- THE SOCIAL AND CULTURAL WORLD:
o Acculturation: This is the learning process where knowledge is transferred from one culture to another. It may occur when someone comes into direct contact with another culture (such anon a trip) or has secondary contact through the media (such as watching a documentary). It explains phenomena such as Michael Jordan T-shirts being worn in African villages.
o Change: This is an important concept throughout the entire course. You will need to identify how societies and cultures conduct themselves in a way that differs from the way they conducted themselves previously. Change can be referred to as a break with tradition. You must also learn to identify the reasons why change occurs.
o Citizenship: Citizenship can have both a legal and social context. Legally, a citizen is a member of a specific country and entitled to a set of accepted rights and responsibilities. In a social context, citizenship can refer to the way people participate in their community. This may involve a range of activities, such as volunteering, working to help meet a-local need or even belonging to a political party. A clear example is the way volunteers for the 2000 Sydney Olympics were - referred to as 'good citizens:
o Communication: This is the basis of any society. Communication is the way members of a society transmit meaning to each other. Speaking, reading and writing have been the most traditional forms of communication, but it also refers to such concepts as body language and the meaning given to symbols, such as flags.
o Community: This generally refers to a local area drawn together through common interests, locality and networks.
o Conflict: This generally refers to disagreements within a society. They are not necessarily violent, although deep-seated disagreements between societies and/or cultures may ultimately result in war.
o Continuity: This concept acts as a balance to change and, as a concept, is just as important as change. It too should be recognised in societies and cultures. Continuity can be referred to as maintenance of tradition, and you should learn to recognise the reasons why some aspects of society and culture don't change.
o Cooperation: This involves members of a society or culture working together to achieve accepted goals or aspirations.
o Decision-making: This can operate at a number of levels within any society or culture. At a personal level, decision making may be made with reference to your role in your family, whereas at a national level, the government may make decisions with reference to a political ideology or opinion polls.
o Enculturation: This is very similar to socialisation. The difference is that with enculturation you are learning to be a full member of a culture or subculture, by using the accepted patterns of behaviour.
o Groups: There is a wide range of groups represented in any society. They can range from ones you are personally involved in (such as sporting teams or schools) through to ones that represent you (such as the police or judiciary).
o Macro world: This refers to the broader world beyond your micro world. It may consist of your country, the international community or ideas you receive through the media. It is the world you know through access to public knowledge.
o Micro world: This refers to your immediate world of family. Peers school and work. It is the world you know through personal experience.
o Multiculturalism: This refers to the existence of a range of different cultural practices within a society. Australia is generally referred to as a multicultural society because the cultural traditions of its many immigrants still exist within h broad range of cultural practices regarded as 'Australian:
o Social and cultural literacy: This is an overriding aim of the course. Socially and culturally literate persons can communicate effectively across society. They are aware of their own place in society, and willing to make a contribution to their society and culture.
o Socialisation: This refers to the way we learn to become members of any society. It is aprocess that we may not be aware of. It is covered in more depth in Chapter 3.
2.1- The nature of society and culture
2.2 -Social and cultural research
2.3 -The social and cultural world
2.1- The nature of society and culture:
o Society, culture, persons, environment and time have always been regarded as the fundamental concepts in the study of society and culture.
o Power, authority, gender and technology have now also been recognised as vital concepts.
MICRO AND MACRO WORLDS:
o These are the terms used to describe the world you know through personal experience (micro world) and the world you know through public knowledge (macro world).
o It is a division you will become used to as you work your way through the course.
Understanding micro and macro worlds
Micro world Macro world
-Narara Valley High School- my workplace (society)
-South Sydney Rugby League Team (culture)
-The Central Coast (environment)
-The past five decades (time)
-My boss (power)
-Making decisions with my family (authority) -Rupert Murdoch (person)
-Globalised media monopolies (society)
-An international commitment to basic human rights (culture)
-The earth as a fragile biosphere in space (environment)
-The twentieth century (time)
-Hitler’s decision to occupy Poland in 1939 (power)
-The United Nation’s role in ensuring a peaceful transition to independence in East Timor (authority)
-Any society that displays a preference for male children to act as heirs (gender)
-The rapid development of digitised communication systems (technology)
COMBINING PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE:
o Personal experience refers to those experiences you have as you grow and develop as a human being. That personal experience is unique to you and as an individual, and is a valid part of the material you can refer to as content within course.
o To properly use your personal experience you need to engage in personal reflection.
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