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Term
Description
Counterculture
A group within society that openly rejects and/or actively opposes society's values and norms (page 83)
Cultural diffusion
The dissemination of beliefs and practices from one group to another (page 88)
Cultural imperialism
The imposition of one culture's beliefs and practices on another culture through mass media and consumer products rather than by military force (page 92)
Cultural leveling
The process by which cultures that were once unique and distinct become increasingly similar (page 91)
Cultural relativism
The principle of understanding other cultures on their own terms, rather than judging or evaluating according to one's own culture (page 74)
Culture
The entire way of life of a group of people (including both material and symbolic elements) that acts as a lens through which one views the world and is passed from one generation to the next (page 72)
Culture wars
Clashes within mainstream society over the values and norms that should be upheld (page 86)
Dominant culture
The values, norms, and practices of the group within society that is most powerful (in terms of wealth, prestige, status, influence, etc.) (page 82)
Ethnocentrism
The principle of using one's own culture as a means or standard by which to evaluate another group or individual, leading to the view that cultures other than one's own are abnormal or inferior (page 74)
Folkway
A loosely enforced norm involving common customs, practices, or procedures that ensure smooth social interaction and acceptance (page 80)
Gestures
The ways in which people use their bodies to communicate without words; actions that have symbolic meaning (page 78)
Hegemony
Term developed by Antonio Gramsci to describe the cultural aspects of social control, whereby the ideas of the dominant social group are accepted by all of society (page 82)
Ideal culture
The norms, values, and patterns of behavior that members of a society believe should be observed in principle (page 86)
Language
A system of communication using vocal sounds, gestures, or written symbols; the basis of symbolic culture and the primary means through which we communicate with one another and perpetuate our culture (page 78)
Law
A common type of formally defined norm providing an explicit statement about what is permissible and what is illegal in a given society (page 79)
Material culture
The objects associated with a cultural group, such as tools, machines, utensils, buildings, and artwork; any physical object to which we give social meaning (page 76)
More
A norm that carries great moral significance, is closely related to the core values of a cultural group, and often involves severe repercussions for violators (page 80)
Multiculturalism
A policy that values diverse racial, ethnic, national, and linguistic backgrounds and so encourages the retention of cultural differences within society rather than assimilation (page 82)
Norm
A rule or guideline regarding what kinds of behavior are acceptable and appropriate within a culture (page 79)
Real culture
The norms, values, and patterns of behavior that actually exist within a society (which may or may not correspond to the society's ideals) (page 86)
Sanction
Positive or negative reactions to the ways that people follow or disobey norms, including rewards for conformity and punishments for violations (page 80)
Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
The idea that language structures thought and that ways of looking at the world are embedded in language (page 78)
Sign
A symbol that stands for or conveys an idea (page 77)
Social control
The formal and informal mechanisms used to elicit conformity to values and norms and thus increase social cohesion (page 80)
Subculture
A group within society that is differentiated by its distinctive values, norms, and lifestyle (page 82)
Symbolic culture
The ideas associated with a cultural group, including ways of thinking (beliefs, values, and assumptions) and ways of behaving (norms, interactions, and communication) (page 77)
Taboo
A norm ingrained so deeply that even thinking about violating it evokes strong feelings of disgust, horror, or revulsion (page 80)
Technological determinism
The notion that developments in technology provide the primary driving force behind social change (page 88)
Technology
Material artifacts and the knowledge and techniques required to use them (page 87)
Values
Ideas about what is desirable or contemptible and right or wrong in a particular group. They articulate the essence of everything that a cultural group cherishes and honors. (page 79)
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