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Thinking differently regarding social and cultural norms

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Sometimes we get "stuck" into a certain way of thinking and problem solving based on social and cultural norms.

Some years ago, I purchased homemade soap from a friend of mine. When I went to her house to pick it up, I saw that she had saved a great deal of the soap shavings and placed them in ziplock baggies with labels. I asked her what she did with the remaining shavings, and she explained that she used it as laundry detergent. She did not add anything to it, but would place about 1/2 to 1 cup of the shavings in the washing machine if she ran out of her normal detergent. I never would have thought about doing this! She told me that her clothes did not fade, and did not require fabric softener since she used shea and coconut butter in her soap. They came out smelling great, too. All of us have grown up thinking that the only use for soap is to clean our bodies, but the reality is that, depending on the soap, there could be many other uses.

1) Have you experienced any other situations like this?

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I have experienced a situation like this in fact. My cousin recently decided to redecorate her children's play room and took down quite a few bulletin boards and white boards from their walls. She was going to throw them out and I suggested that she donate them to her ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines different thinking for social and cultural norms. The situations which are experienced are determined.

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Culture, Language, Ethnocentrism, Values & Beliefs

1. List the 5 concepts you are using and give the sociological definition of each and then do the analysis. Please make sure all five terms are correctly defined and identified and described the social occasion. Some concepts you might use:

(A) Norms (Folkways, Mores) (B) Subcultures (C) Argot (D) Ethnocentrism (E) Cultural Relativity (F) Culture Shock (G) Values (H) Beliefs (I) Sanctions

Section 2: http://Amish.net/lifestyle.asp. (The Amish Lifestyle)

(1) Compare the Amish with " mainstream American culture" in terms of:

(a) Norms (b) Values (c) Beliefs (d) Symbols (e) Language

(2) Now think about social construction- What is social construction? Would you have a different sense of reality if you came from this heritage compared to "mainstream American"?. In what ways?

(3) Is one more right than the other? Why or why not?

(4) How does your answer portray either ethnocentrism or cultural relativity?

Section 3:

(1) Is culture an all powerful, inevitable force which makes puppets of people? Are we prisoners of our culture? How or how not?

(2) What functions, positive and negative does a culture perform for a society?

(3) If language is so important in keeping a culture together what are the implications of having more than one language?

(4) How has technology, especially communication technology, contributed to cultural diffusion and cultural retention? Give examples.

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