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Social Sci LibreTexts

12.4: Cultural Power

  • Page ID
    17517
  • Learning Objectives

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

    1. explain the implications of culture on social status and stratification
    2. summarize the mechanisms used by dominant groups to develop and sustain culturalpower
    3. understand cultural hegemony
    4. describe the consequences of social conflicts over cultural power
    5. identify and evaluate cultural prejudice and discrimination

    All humans are comprised of the same biological structure and matter. The unique distinctions among us stem from our culture (Kottak and Kozaitis 2012). The differences in our values, beliefs, norms, expressive language, practices, and artifacts is which stands us apart from each other. Being culturally unique projects exclusivity that draws attention to our variations and differences. People find cultural fit or acceptance from those who share uniqueness or the same cultural characteristics. Consequently, people may find or experience intolerance or rejection from those with different cultural traits.

    • Cultural Hegemoney
      The very nature of cultural creation and production requires an audience to receive a cultural idea or product. Without people willing to receive culture, it cannot be sustainable or become an object.
    • Cultural Hierarchies
      At the end of the module, students will be able to, explain the implications of culture on social status and stratification This chapter summarizes the mechanisms used by dominant groups to develop and sustain cultural power and helps to further understand cultural hegemony. Overall, it describes the consequences of social conflicts over cultural power as well as how to identify and evaluate cultural prejudice and discrimination
    • Cultural Power (Summary)
    • Prejudice and Discrimination
      Think about a time when you came across someone who did not fit the cultural “norm” either expressively or behaviorally. Were you compelled to understand the differences between you and the other person or were you eager to dismiss, confront, or ignore the other person? Prejudice is an attitude of thoughts and feelings directed at someone from prejudging or making negative assumptions. Discrimination is an action of unfair treatment against someone based on characteristics such as age, etc.
    • Social and Cultural Capital
      Social and cultural relationships have productive benefits in society. Research defines social capital as a form of economic (e.g., money and property) and cultural (e.g., norms, fellowship, trust) assets central to a social network (Putnam 2000). The social networks people create and maintain with each other enable society to function. Sociologists find cultural capital or the social assets of person (including intellect, education, speech pattern, mannerisms, and dress) promote social mobility

    Thumbnail: Counter service in a McDonald's restaurant in Dukhan, Qatar. Image used with permission (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported; Vincent van Zeijst).