- From the list of definitions of culture provided choose 1 that you believe best defines culture and explain why.
“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.”
I believe this statement best defines culture. If you look at many cultures, some of the things they do may seem unorthodox or may be seen as an annoyance to other cultures. My culture for example prevents me from cutting my hair, something that others may see as a hassle. However, it is a value that I have accepted, it having been passed down to me by my parents. Many cultures are based around similar things with each new generation following in the past generations footprints without hesitation, many times simply for the sake of preserving their own culture. This definition mentions communication and behaviors as well, something that many cultures can be identified by.
2. Try to explain the various cultural theories that are given.
THEORY OF CULTURAL DETERMINISM
- This theory notes that people have the potential to be anything in the world, however, they most likely become what they are conditioned to be by the people around them. For example, a serf growing up in the middle ages has the potential to be a general or a warrior if trained, however due to the serf’s conditions, it will likely become a farmer instead.
- No cultures are the same, no one culture can be seen as the norm, or as absolutely neutral. Two cultures can not hope to understand one another through comparison. Only through education of each other’s beliefs can they co-exist and empathize.
- Obsession and bias towards one’s own culture. This theory proposes that people who believe their own culture superior to others will ignore the nuances of other cultures. One scenario that explains it is that one may believe that a method of farming that works well in their own country would work well anywhere regardless of the conditions.
3. Look at the manifestations of culture diagram. Choose a culture and fill out the activities and beliefs that would correspond with each element of the diagram.
Hellenism(Ancient Greek Paganism that is actually still being practiced):
Symbols: The laurel wreath, the lightning bolt, the kithara, the cadaceus, the ‘phi’ symbol and the dodecagram. Their symbols are, many times, used to represent a specific deity, like olives to represent Athena.
Heroes: Heracles, Jason and the Argonauts, Achilles, Agamemnon, Odysseus.
Rituals:They hold festival to come together and worship their dieties.
Values: reciprocity, hospitality, self-control and moderation
Practices: They worship the ancient Greek gods and heroes.