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SOC 101 Monday March 8 Lecture Outline Theoretical Perspectives on Culture and the Media Does the media create popular values or reflect them The reflection hypothesis contends that the mass media reflects the values of the general population Functionalist theorists believe that norms and values create or disrupt social bonds that attach people to society Conflict theorists analyze culture as a source of power in society Symbolic Interactionists are concerned with the meaning that people give to behavior and how social interaction produces and changes culture and cultural behavior Symbolic interaction also emphasizes that culture like all other forms of social behavior is socially constructed Feminist theory analyzes the power that men have in controlling cultural institutions Cultural Change The Role of Technology Central to a group s material culture is its technology In its simplest sense technology can be equated with tools In its broadest sense technology also includes the skills or procedures necessary to make and use those tools Cultural lag Not all parts of culture change at the same pace cultural lag refers to situations where the material culture changes first and the nonmaterial culture lags behind Different groups within society adopt and use technological advances differently Cultural diffusion For most of human history cultures have always been in contact with other groups resulting in groups learning from one another 1 Cultural diffusion occurs more rapidly today given technological advances This may lead to cultural leveling where cultures become similar to one another Chapter 4 Socialization the Life Course We cover ONLY the following sections of this Chapter Introduction 4 2 4 3d Socialization The interactive process through which people learn Basic skills Values Beliefs Behavior patterns of a society Within socialization a person develops a sense of self The Socialization Process Socialization occurs during our interactions with each other Who we are is defined by how others see us How one is socialized differs depending on factors such as age race gender class and personality Through socialization one internalizes expectations of society Agents of Socialization Socialization agents are people or sources or structures that pass on social expectations Many social institutions shape the process of socialization 1 The Family 2 The family teaches children norms and values of culture For most people the family is the first source of socialization Diverse family experiences gender birth order and different family structures and processes all influence the socialization process 2 The Media The mass media is an increasingly important agent of socialization Television social media have a huge impact on what we are socialized to believe and become 3 Peers 4 Religion 5 Sports 6 Schools Peers are those with whom we interact on equal terms such as friends fellow students and coworkers Religion contributes to the identities children construct It shapes the beliefs that people develop Religious socialization influences a large number of beliefs that guide adults in how they organize their lives e g moral behavior gender roles and sexuality Through sports individuals learn concepts of fairness rules etc that stay with them in their later lives In school teachers and other students affect how children think and behave 3 School develops and reinforces racial and ethnic roles and differences gender differences and stereotypes social class distinctions physical mental abilities and disabilities 4

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UB SOC 101 - Theoretical Perspectives on Culture and the Media

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