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In this example of commuting, culture consists of thoughts (expectations about personal space, for example) and tangible things (bus stops, trains, and seating capacity). Material culture refers to the objects or belongings of a group of people. Metro passes and bus tokens are part of material culture, as are automobiles, stores, and the physical structures where people worship. Nonmaterial culture , in contrast, consists of the ideas, attitudes, and beliefs of a society. Material and nonmaterial aspects of culture are linked, and physical objects often symbolize cultural ideas. A metro pass is a material object, but it represents a form of nonmaterial culture, namely, capitalism, and the acceptance of paying for transportation. Clothing, hairstyles, and jewelry are part of material culture, but the appropriateness of wearing certain clothing for specific events reflects nonmaterial culture. A school building belongs to material culture, but the teaching methods and educational standards are part of education’s nonmaterial culture. These material and nonmaterial aspects of culture can vary subtly from region to region. As people travel farther afield, moving from different regions to entirely different parts of the world, certain material and nonmaterial aspects of culture become dramatically unfamiliar. What happens when we encounter different cultures? As we interact with cultures other than our own, we become more aware of the differences and commonalities between others’ worlds and our own.

Cultural universals

Often, a comparison of one culture to another will reveal obvious differences. But all cultures also share common elements. Cultural universals are patterns or traits that are globally common to all societies. One example of a cultural universal is the family unit: every human society recognizes a family structure that regulates sexual reproduction and the care of children. Even so, how that family unit is defined and how it functions vary. In many Asian cultures, for example, family members from all generations commonly live together in one household. In these cultures, young adults continue to live in the extended household family structure until they marry and join their spouse’s household, or they may remain and raise their nuclear family within the extended family’s homestead. In the United States, by contrast, individuals are expected to leave home and live independently for a period before forming a family unit that consists of parents and their offspring. Other cultural universals include customs like funeral rites, weddings, and celebrations of births. However, each culture may view the ceremonies quite differently.

Anthropologist George Murdock first recognized the existence of cultural universals while studying systems of kinship around the world. Murdock found that cultural universals often revolve around basic human survival, such as finding food, clothing, and shelter, or around shared human experiences, such as birth and death or illness and healing. Through his research, Murdock identified other universals including language, the concept of personal names, and, interestingly, jokes. Humor seems to be a universal way to release tensions and create a sense of unity among people (Murdock 1949). Sociologists consider humor necessary to human interaction because it helps individuals navigate otherwise tense situations.

Questions & Answers

What is Social Psychology? and why social psychology?
WILLIAM Reply
learn about the people and understand there need to live in society what there basic need and learning institutions
Ghulammurtaza
Social Psychology deals with the study of individual as part of a group or communty and how they affect each other.
Sadiq
behavior study of humans are there institutions are social psychology but if they are study about society that means the learn about there living structure
Ghulammurtaza
social psychology means it formed after combined sociology and psychology and itis new descipline.
salem
social psychology study behavior reference society
Rajesh
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Hirsi Reply
what is sociology?
Omeneke Reply
It's a field of study which studies about human Society... (to make you more clear... the psychology studies single individual where as sociology studies group of individual who forms society)
sociology is study of socity
Sadia
not only study but it study with scientific method and sociological approach
Rajesh
rite #rajesh sosa
Sadia
thanks
Rajesh
hey help me defining sociological guru's ideas
luther
what is culture
Nandala Reply
what is urbanisation
Nandala
What are the weaknesses of the conflict theory
Skeazo Reply
a person who's combination of a particular culture and ethics has a great influence on his personality.
Habibu Reply
ok
Kenneth
what is the main differences between social loafing and social facilitation
godfrey
popuation education major areas
Rakesh Reply
plx i need a better definition of culture
Alqaseem
culture, according to E. B. Tylor (1921), is defined as a complex whole which include knowledge, beliefs, arts, morals, laws,customs , and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society
Adesola
what is orientalists anyone define pls
Anand
hello, I have my sociology exam gcse next Monday and I am so stressed, can anyone give me an advice of how to revise better and lower the stress 😭
Adry Reply
what level are you in the university
raymond
Before i say something
raymond
while we await your response, studies proof that psychology speaks more to condition of such. It concern sociologist most if you talk about culture, values, family, groups, organizations, society etc and not more of single individual/mind. However, tell us your level.
William
I'm in college not uni
Adry
good evening, how did sociology people behave
chukwuka Reply
They are social thinkers.And they adapt to any situation they found themselves.Also,they study in accordance,how the society behaved.For eg,the problem of Nigeria,Boko Haram etc,which is a social problem
raymond
mean that sociology people can stop the Boko Haram issues
chukwuka
As a social thinker,you can proffer solutions to stop this mess in the northern east
raymond
Raymond you are truely a sociologist
cynthia
am just 100level students, I find myself that I don't like talking too much to people, I always like still on my own way of life, is good for a sociology students
chukwuka
According to Peter Berger the people who should “stay away” from sociology are the people that can’t take a diversity of truths, people who are afraid to discover that there is something beyond what is taught to them, people that don’t have the drive to understand that society has many different...
perspectives from which it can be understood and it all depends on where you are standing. People who are used to things being the same all the time and are afraid of change..
If you feel that you fit in... Go ahead...
who is the father of Indian sociology?
The Reply
how does a sociologist do think critically
abdulaziz Reply
what does a medical sociologist is all about
abdulaziz
yes I am from sociology department
Nath Reply
hello
rajae
hi
Nath
hii
Prahallada
I'm new here
rajae
new here as well
soely
new here as well
Daphne
hi term paradigm pls
salem
hi
SHASHI
hey
Miguel
I'm so excited to see myself here
Miguel
paradigm is a group of ideas about what can be done.
Miguel
or how something can be done.
Miguel
pliz help with( the similarities bwn the fanctionalist and the feminist theory)
luther
functional and feminist are the same value in post industrial society and development of civilization in the defernt kind of geographic area.where people live in kinship and responsible .functions are the process of change the life of societies and feminist are the right of women in modern period
Ghulammurtaza
thanks more info
luther
what is kinship ?
Robert Reply
hi
Nath
afternoon
Nath
kinship is a relation
Nath
either by blood or connection
Nath
hi
Ayeshna
helo
ASHRAF
how are you
Ayeshna
hey
Nath
am good
Nath
u?
Nath
am ok nd thanks
raymond
thank you too
Nath
hie please gie me the similarities btwn the fanctionist theory and the feminist theory
luther
functionalist see society as a human body part that functions respectively whilst feminist is a perspective that works to see the needs of men in society (patriarchy)
abdulaziz
functional theory observed the balance and equal barium of the society. they see society is deferent farm. that fiminst are work for equality of gander
Ghulammurtaza
kinship is the vector of responses behaviour of societies with each other
Ghulammurtaza
function is the slowly process for changes of societies through developed and innovation of technology and use term for balance in society
Ghulammurtaza
what joins them [to be one]
luther
kinship is the relationship establlished through marriage or blood ties.blood relatives are cobsanguinieal kins and relatives by relation of marriage are affinal kins.for eg.a woman and her son are consanguineal kins and a woman and her brother in law are affinal kins
sanjukta
blood relatives are consanguneal kins
sanjukta
sorry l mean what join the feminist pespective and the fanctionalist one
luther
freedom for women's life how can survived and what right for doing omin modernization
Ghulammurtaza
what is sociology?
Soccer Reply
sociology is a science which study the society including social relationship ,social interaction and culture......
Akak
Thanks
Ankit
but can u send me syllabus of 12 th sociology
Ankit
and scope of it
Ankit
hello.
Sushant
Scope of scology can u tell me
Ankit
what do u mean by scope of sociology?
James
in simple meaning,social scope signifies the area of study.
Sushant
describe sociology as a science
godfrey
Origin of social system begin in?
Hazim Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
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