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Sociology Chapter 3 Summary

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Chapter 3 of The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology explains to the reader what culture is and goes into depth of the different concepts within culture. It defines culture as “the entire way of life for a group of people” (Ferris & Stein, 2010, p. 77). Culture is described as a “lens” through which one views the world and is passed from one generation to the next. This “entire way of life”, according to sociologists, consists of two major categories: material and symbolic culture. Material culture involves the entities associated with a cultural group, such as tools, machines, utensils, buildings, and artwork. When examining material culture, it can convey a great deal about a particular group or society. Symbolic culture embraces ways…show more content…
It expresses the idea that this is something that is common among most people. As a social analyst or sociologist, one needs to view another culture not as something abnormal or wrong but as something just simply different than our own. This viewing of other cultures as simply different is called cultural relativism. Cultural relativism is an important concept to comprehend in this chapter and this is because it helps us to understand and to “place different values, beliefs, norms, and practices within their own culture”. (Ferris & Stein, 2010, p. 78). It is important to practice cultural relativism because it allows oneself to be open minded and to see other more openly, without judgment and as a result appreciate their culture, their way of life. Another insightful concept addressed in this chapter was the concept of cultural leveling which is “the process by which cultures that were once unique and distinct become increasingly similar” (Ferris & Stein, 2010, p. 91). The chapter states that cultural leveling is seen all around the United States. If cultural leveling is something that seems to be constantly occurring, then it is an important concept to understand. One example that the chapter provides is the rise of popularity in Japanese anime in…show more content…
The article Body Ritual Among the Nacirema by Horace Miner in this chapter really amazed me; this is because it was describing something that I do every day and I didn’t realize this until I was actually told. Horace Miner shows me the insensitivity one can have towards different cultures, even towards our own. It taught me to read between the lines in order to get the full meaning behind everything in this world and to view things from a different point of view every once in a
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