Changing Concepts of Time (Critical Media Studies: Institutions, Politics, and Culture)


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Introduction Discussion Questions

A culture represents the beliefs and practices of a group, while society represents the people who share those beliefs and practices. Neither society nor culture could exist without the other.


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Almost every human behavior, from shopping to marriage to expressions of feelings, is learned. Behavior based on learned customs is not necessarily a bad thing — being familiar with unwritten rules helps people feel secure and confident that their behaviors will not be challenged or disrupted. However even the simplest actions — such as commuting to work, ordering food from a restaurant, and greeting someone on the street — evidence a great deal of cultural propriety.

Material culture refers to the objects or belongings of a group of people such as automobiles, stores, and the physical structures where people worship. Nonmaterial culture, in contrast, consists of the ideas, attitudes, and beliefs of a society.

Material and nonmaterial aspects of culture are linked, and physical objects often symbolize cultural ideas. A metro pass is a material object, but it represents a form of nonmaterial culture namely capitalism, and the acceptance of paying for transportation. Clothing, hairstyles, and jewelry are part of material culture, but the appropriateness of wearing certain clothing for specific events reflects nonmaterial culture.

These material and nonmaterial aspects of culture can vary subtly from region to region. As people travel farther afield, moving from different regions to entirely different parts of the world, certain material and nonmaterial aspects of culture become dramatically unfamiliar. As we interact with cultures other than our own, we become more aware of our own culture — which might otherwise be invisible to us — and to the differences and commonalities between our culture and others. Some people think of culture in the singular, in the way that it was thought of in Europe during the 18th and early 19th centuries: as something achieved through evolution and progress.

This concept of culture reflected inequalities within European societies and their colonies around the world; in short, it equates culture with civilization and contrasts both with nature or non-civilization. High culture refers to elite goods and activities, such as haute cuisine, high fashion or couture, museum-caliber art, and classical music.

Someone who uses culture in this sense might argue that classical music is more refined than music by working-class people, such as jazz or the indigenous music traditions of aboriginal peoples. Popular culture tends to change as tastes and opinions change over time, whereas high culture generally stays the same throughout the years. For example, Mozart is considered high culture, whereas Britney Spears is considered pop culture; Mozart is likely to still be popular in years, but Britney Spears will likely be forgotten by all but a few. Aboriginal culture : Early colonial definitions of culture equated culture and civilization and characterized aboriginal people as uncivilized and uncultured.

This definition of culture only recognizes a single standard of refinement to which all groups are held accountable. Although we still see remnants of this idea of high culture today, it has largely fallen out of practice. Its decline began during the Romantic Era, when scholars in Germany — especially those concerned with nationalism — developed the more inclusive notion of culture as a distinct worldview.

By the late 19th century, anthropologists changed the concept of culture to include a wider variety of societies, ultimately resulting in the concept of culture adopted by social scientists today: objects and symbols, the meaning given to those objects and symbols, and the norms, values, and beliefs that pervade social life. This new perspective has also removed the evaluative element of the concept of culture; it distinguishes among different cultures, but does not rank them.

For instance, the high culture of elites is now contrasted with popular or pop culture. High culture simply refers to the objects, symbols, norms, values, and beliefs of a particular group of people; popular culture does the same. A cultural universal is an element, pattern, trait, or institution that is common to all human cultures worldwide. Discuss cultural universals in terms of the various elements of culture, such as norms and beliefs.

The sociology of culture concerns culture—usually understood as the ensemble of symbolic codes used by a society—as it is manifested in society. The elements of culture include 1 symbols anything that carries particular meaning recognized by people who share the same culture ; 2 language system of symbols that allows people to communicate with one another ; 3 values culturally-defined standards that serve as broad guidelines for social living; 4 beliefs specific statements that people hold to be true ; and 5 norms rules and expectations by which a society guides the behavior of its members.

While these elements of culture may be seen in various contexts over time and across geography, a cultural universal is an element, pattern, trait, or institution that is common to all human cultures worldwide.

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Taken together, the whole body of cultural universals is known as the human condition. Among the cultural universals listed by Donald Brown are abstract speech, figurative speech and metaphors, antonyms and synonyms, and units of time. First-Cousin Marriage Laws in the U.

Light blue signifies that it is legal but has restrictions or exceptions. Pink signifies that it is banned with exceptions; red signifies that it is banned via statute, and dark red signifies that it is a criminal offense. The concept of a cultural universal has long been discussed in the social sciences. Cultural universals are elements, patterns, traits, or institutions that are common to all human cultures worldwide.

There is a tension in cultural anthropology and cultural sociology between the claim that culture is a universal the fact that all human societies have culture , and that it is also particular culture takes a tremendous variety of forms around the world. The idea of cultural universals—that specific aspects of culture are common to all human cultures—runs contrary to cultural relativism.

Cultural relativism was, in part, a response to Western ethnocentrism. Among the cultural universals listed by Donald Brown, some of these were investigated by Franz Boas. For example, Boas called attention to the idea that language is a means of categorizing experiences, hypothesizing that the existence of different languages suggests that people categorize, and thus experience, language differently. Therefore, although people may perceive visible radiation the same way, in terms of a continuum of color, people who speak different languages slice up this continuum into discrete colors in different ways.

Culture shock is the personal disorientation a person may feel when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life in a new country.

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Discuss culture shock in terms of its four phases — honeymoon, negotiation, adjustment and mastery. Culture shock is the personal disorientation a person may feel when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life due to immigration or a visit to a new country, or to a move between social environments. One of the most common causes of culture shock involves individuals in a foreign country.


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There is no true way to entirely prevent culture shock, as individuals in any society are personally affected by cultural contrasts differently. Culture shock can be described as consisting of at least one of four distinct phases: honeymoon, negotiation, adjustment, and mastery. During the honeymoon phase, the differences between the old and new culture are seen in a romantic light.

During the first few weeks, most people are fascinated by the new culture. They associate with nationals who speak their language, and who are polite to the foreigners.

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This period is full of observations and new discoveries. Like most honeymoon periods, this stage eventually ends. After some time usually around three months, depending on the individual , differences between the old and new culture become apparent and may create anxiety. This is the mark of the negotiation phase. Still, the most important change in the period is communication. People adjusting to a new culture often feel lonely and homesick because they are not yet used to the new environment and meet people with whom they are not familiar every day.

Again, after some time, one grows accustomed to the new culture and develops routines, marking the adjustment phase. One knows what to expect in most situations and the host country no longer feels all that new. One becomes concerned with basic living again and things become more normal. The culture begins to make sense and negative reactions and responses to the culture are reduced. These are the most vulnerable groups that may be left behind by technology.

Davis and J. Decker, J. Haltiwanger, R. Jarmin, and J. These findings seem inconsistent with an increase in contingent workers engaged in short-duration gig jobs.

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As noted above, there is currently not much evidence that gig economy jobs are quantitatively significant in the overall U. Underlying part of this decline is a decline in dynamism in the pace of start-ups and high-growth young firms. Before , this phenomenon was concentrated in certain sectors, such as retail trade, where there has been a shift in the business model toward large national chains see Figure 4.

Evidence suggests that such companies.

Changing Concepts of Time (Critical Media Studies: Institutions, Politics, and Culture) Changing Concepts of Time (Critical Media Studies: Institutions, Politics, and Culture)
Changing Concepts of Time (Critical Media Studies: Institutions, Politics, and Culture) Changing Concepts of Time (Critical Media Studies: Institutions, Politics, and Culture)
Changing Concepts of Time (Critical Media Studies: Institutions, Politics, and Culture) Changing Concepts of Time (Critical Media Studies: Institutions, Politics, and Culture)
Changing Concepts of Time (Critical Media Studies: Institutions, Politics, and Culture) Changing Concepts of Time (Critical Media Studies: Institutions, Politics, and Culture)
Changing Concepts of Time (Critical Media Studies: Institutions, Politics, and Culture) Changing Concepts of Time (Critical Media Studies: Institutions, Politics, and Culture)
Changing Concepts of Time (Critical Media Studies: Institutions, Politics, and Culture) Changing Concepts of Time (Critical Media Studies: Institutions, Politics, and Culture)
Changing Concepts of Time (Critical Media Studies: Institutions, Politics, and Culture) Changing Concepts of Time (Critical Media Studies: Institutions, Politics, and Culture)

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