Explore BrainMass

Discussing Culture

What is culture and what is the difference between material and nonmaterial culture? People can be said to be filled with their culture. Define ethnocentrism and suggest how we as humans may transcend our own culture comming to grasp a degree of cultural relativism.

Solution Preview

Dear Student,
The Discussion I provided below will give you the guidance you need to understand the concepts asked of you in the problem you posted. It is also attached as a word file for easy printing. Thank you for using Brainmass.

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones


To get a better understanding of the subject matter, let us define the important elements in this sociological subject -

? Socialization - a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behaviour, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position. (, 2008)
? Culture (in Anthropology & Sociology) - (1) the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another; (2)the behaviours and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group, i.e. the Tribal Culture, the Goth Culture. (, 2008)
? Ethnicity - ethnic traits, background, allegiance, or association; i.e. Hispanic, Jewish, Chinese, Native American. (, 2008)
? Race - The term race or racial group usually refers to the concept of dividing humans into populations or groups on the basis of various sets of characteristics. The most widely used human racial categories are based on visible traits (especially skin color, cranial or facial features and hair texture), and self-identification. (Wikipedia, 2008)

On Sociology & Culture

Culture happens because of the nature of human beings - we are 'social animals' - meaning we live in groups, in communities. When we come together, we built traditions, codes of living, languages, institutions, belief systems, even a sense of government to keep our group in order - all this contribute to a unique way of looking at the world - a kind of culture. When culture is preserved through time and generations, we establish traditions and practices. The uniqueness of cultures is due to many factors - geography and environment influencing how it developed. One can say that Greek cultured flourished the way it did because the location of Greece allowed for a certain lifestyle. The circumstances of the social world in a certain time ...

Solution Summary

The solution explores culture from a sociological viewpoint defining how it happens, why it happens and why it is an intrinsic part of society and and the nature of social networks. Ethnocentrism is also extensively discussed in relation to culture and cultural relativism. The solution follows the APA-format with references provided and a word version attached for easy printing.