Author Topic: Culture Culture  (Read 25 times)

Offline jmt18325

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Culture Culture
« on: June 14, 2017, 09:20:55 am »
In honour of MH - discuss.

I'm joking :P
« Last Edit: June 14, 2017, 12:40:18 pm by jmt18325 »

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Offline MH

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Re: Culture Culture
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2017, 09:53:42 am »
Ask and you shall receive.  With such a broad and general topic, I decided to take Google's first returned site on 'elements of culture' without quotes:
Quote
The major elements of culture are symbols, language, norms, values, and artifacts. Language makes effective social interaction possible and influences how people conceive of concepts and objects. Major values that distinguish the United States include individualism, competition, and a commitment to the work ethic.

From the University of Minnesota library:
http://open.lib.umn.edu/sociology/chapter/3-2-the-elements-of-culture/

Offline MH

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Re: Culture Culture
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2017, 01:09:59 pm »


Reading the article 'artifacts' is the most confusing:

'The last element of culture is the artifacts, or material objects, that constitute a society’s material culture.'

Then they say that the wheel and cellphones are artifacts, so I would instead call that technological landscape or media topology.

So we have now:

So:
symbols, language, norms, values, and media topology.

Communication happens between people over media topology,using language to convey norms and values via symbols.  I'm going to come up with a sweeping and unnecessarily abstract simplification at some point.

Offline kimmy

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Re: Culture Culture
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2017, 01:52:20 am »

Reading the article 'artifacts' is the most confusing:

'The last element of culture is the artifacts, or material objects, that constitute a society’s material culture.'

Then they say that the wheel and cellphones are artifacts, so I would instead call that technological landscape or media topology.

Thinking of artifacts, one tends to think of stuff like arrow heads or rune stones or Stonehenge or other things.  Technology might fit part of the story but not all of it.  Arrow heads were, in part, the hunting technology of the people that made them, but they were also a part of a lifestyle that was central to the culture.  Hunting was not just an activity, it was the driving force behind everything. Stonehenge might have been a calendar technology of a sort, but it was more. It had spiritual importance that went beyond just marking the solstices and equinoxes.   Rune stones and tablets with hieroglyphics may have been media, but they were used to record stories and information that was considered too significant to trust to parchment and charcoal. Carven stone was supposed to last forever.

I'm not sure just any wheel would be an artifact, but the automobile may be one of our society's iconic artifacts of the era from the end of WWII right through to now.  Perhaps the cell phone is becoming the new iconic artifact.

 -k

Offline MH

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Re: Culture Culture
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2017, 05:00:09 am »
That's why I ditched 'artifact'.  An artifact is just a cultural object, by definition.  A fidget spinner and a smartphone are not equally important to a culture.

I am still working out the sweeping generalization...