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Social Sci LibreTexts

2: Culture as a Social Construct

  • Page ID
    13444
  • Learning Objectives

    At the end of the module, students will be able to:

    1. illustrate how culture is constructed and received
    2. describe the influence of context on cultural creation and acceptance
    3. explain the significance of collective culture on group solidarity and cohesion
    4. discuss and assess the impact of cultural change on the social structure

    How does culture affect your thinking and behavior? How are you able to communicate the influence of culture on your life to others? How do you justify your culture as true, real, or tangible? Because culture is a socially meaningful expression that can be articulated and shared it often takes a physical form in our minds. A spiritual or philosophical expression that is not physical in nature becomes tangible in our minds and is equivalent to an “object” (Griswold 2013). The cultural expression is so real that people perceive it as something achievable or concrete (even if only in psychological form). The mental picture is the object and the meaning associated with the object is the expression when we are speaking
    about non-material culture.

    • 2.0: Social Production of Culture
      At the end of the module, students will be able to illustrate how culture is constructed and received. This chapter describes the influence of context on cultural creation and acceptance, further explaining the significance of collective culture on group solidarity and cohesion Overall, it discusses and assess the impact of cultural change on the social structure.
    • 2.1: Collective Culture
      Among humans, there are universal cultural patterns or elements across groups and societies. Cultural universals are common to all humans throughout the globe. Some cultural universals include cooking, dancing, ethics, greetings, personal names, and taboos to name a few.
    • 2.2: Group and Organizational Culture
      The term group refers to any collection of at least two people who interact frequently and share identity traits aligned with the group (Griffiths et al. 2015). Groups play different roles in our lives.  An organization refers to a group of people with a collective goal or purpose linked to bureaucratic tendencies including a hierarchy of authority, clear division of labor, explicit rules, and impersonal. Organizations function within existing cultures and produce their own.
    • 2.3: Levels of Culture
      There are three recognized levels of culture in society. Each level of culture signifies particular cultural traits and patterns within groups.
    • 2.S: Culture as a Social Construct (Summary)