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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 the difference between sociology imagination and perspective?
Prince Reply
why do we study sociology
Steven Reply
In many ways sociology is the study of human patterns of behavior. It also allows us to see the strange in the familiar.
Kimmy
who is the founder of sociology?
Prince Reply
aguste comte
Steven
.
Steven
Can you explain "the looking-Glass self" by Charles Horton Cooley AND "the generalized other" by George Hebert Mead ?
Tommy Reply
Cooley´s concept of the looking glass self, states that a person's self grows out of a person´s social interactions with others. Mead's 'generalized other' becomes relevant when a person begins to evaluate himself from the point of view from the wider society.
Kimmy
whom we can call a social scientist or sociologist? A sociology graduate or a social work graduate
Arvind Reply
social scientist is not all about our degrees
musharaf
that is what you say, but I believe you
Powell
I didn't understood your reply.
Arvind
whose?
musharaf
actually what I believe, is that sociology deals with the creating theories methodologies and analysis. whereas social work deals with actual ground level implementation of the these theories, methodologies to create impact at actual ground level
Arvind
powel's
Arvind
we cant consider sociology graduate as social scientist. master of sociology or scholar is comsidered aa.....
musharaf
what is social mobility and its types
Izaz
@Izaz social mobility is the movement of individuals from one social class to another. The types are upward,horizontal, intergenerational, intragenerational,structural mobility.
Kimmy
Can one be a "professional " Sociologist without a degree Certificate?
Powell Reply
Yes please
Oduro
yeah
musharaf
Okay I am a dropout
Powell
in my finals
Powell
so if I continue here do I have a chance out there? I love the simplicity with which topics are explained and am greatful for finding my self here
Powell
what Alex Inkeles said in his book ,"what is sociology" ?
Madiha Reply
The great contemplators right from Comte to Behredeit had been the followers of this approach. As Alex inkles said; Sociology is the study of systems of social action & of their inter-relations. As Young, Raymond says, it is the scientific study of social aspects of human life.
Wasem
Topics: The subject matter of sociology -- The sociological perspective -- Models of society in sociological analysis -- Conceptions of man in sociological analysis -- Basic elements of social life -- Fundamental social processes -- Models of inquiry in sociology -- Sociology as a profession
PUBG
Which topic u want to discuss :)
PUBG
Dear give a brief introduction about Sociology as a profession
Wasem
subject matter of sociology
Madiha
He is busy in play PUBG. Carry on
Wasem
He is busy in playing PUBG. Carry on
Wasem
What do u mean wasem
PUBG
Something is wrong with this. I replied so many times but there is not a single reply from me :/
PUBG
What is contemporary family
DAMBA
By what? #Pubg
Wasem
by sociology of the family
DAMBA
Dear PUBG, if you're really meant to serve here, then do your duty as soon as possible
Wasem
There is a problem. Its showing me access denied. So sorry
PUBG
Something inappropriate. I don't know why. I am trying to reply and same dialogue box is appearing again and again
PUBG
Madiha sociology has its own subject matter. Some critics were that sociology has been parcelled out from other social sciences but now sociology is called mother of all social sciences.
PUBG
Woah published. I typed 10 times
PUBG
I tried to explain in simple n short way. If u want detailed. Right now i am not able to publish a full text and i dont want my account banned. I'll explain tomorrow.
PUBG
Feeling sorry for u dear Pubg.Your student has lefted & now u chatter all alone
Wasem
Aneesa Ma'm will make us understand. Dun't wry dear Madiha
Wasem
Where is she teaching. I mean ur mam
PUBG
PUBG sr ty to do dicuss on relevent matter dont wry disturbing elements are exit everywhere
musharaf
thnkx pubg sir for always sharing ur ideas there
Madiha
Yep
PUBG
Welcome
PUBG
You trash heap wht irrelevant u saw in my texts i'm talking vid my batchmate.if you're getting disturbed u can sod off #Musharaf
Wasem
Wht tempts u to knw where my teacher teaches us #PUBG
Wasem
waseem solute to ur kindness nd ur way of talking
musharaf
U r not here for learning or teaching... U r trying to showoff.. And we don't care about it.. I quit this chat
PUBG
yeah offcourse
musharaf
PUBG if i need some material about any topic r uh help me...
musharaf
pubg sr
musharaf
Yeah sure
PUBG
thank uh sir
musharaf
How Louis wirth called Urbanism as an ideal type when it prevails in real form?
Wasem Reply
sir, what is sociology modern trends?
Sandeep Reply
what is the difference between magic and totka
Ravi Reply
Do u got the answer
PUBG
in what ways will American families likely change in structure and process in the future?
Eboni Reply
One way is that the traditional roles of the male being the sole breadwinner will most likely change where it is not uncommon for women to be breadwinners as well
Kimmy
how does society cause desaeas
Kahange Reply
what is deviant behavior and why is relative.
Haruna
How Louis wirth called urbanisation as an ideal type when it prevails in reality?
Wasem
samajsatra ki paribhasha de
Ali Reply
wt
Aijaz
समाजशास्त्र मानव समाज का अध्ययन है। यह सामाजिक विज्ञान की एक शाखा है, जो मानवीय सामाजिक संरचना और गतिविधियों से संबंधित जानकारी को परिष्कृत करने और उनका विकास करने के लिए, अनुभवजन्य विवेचनऔर विवेचनात्मक विश्लेषण की विभिन्न पद्धतियों का उपयोग करता है।
Soumya
समाज के विभिन्न पहलुओं के क्रमबद्ध अध्ययन को समाजशास्त्र कहते हैं |
Soumya
समाजशास्त्र मानव समाज का अध्ययन है। यह सामाजिक विज्ञान की एक शाखा है, जो मानवीय सामाजिक संरचना और गतिविधियों से संबंधित जानकारी को परिष्कृत करने और उनका विकास करने के लिए, अनुभवजन्य विवेचनऔर विवेचनात्मक विश्लेषण की विभिन्न पद्धतियों का उपयोग करता है।
Soumya
what is sociology?
Dulom
the study of human behaviour and its environment
Jimmy
The study of human behaviour beliefs etc.study of man's life from woom to tom
Zahid
what's criminal investigation?
Haruna
it is simple be defines as the process of collecting information or evidence about a particular issues eg.place, when, interrogation and many more
Oduro
what is the nature of social problem?
rashid
relative deprivation
Batch Reply
Why is Max Weber different from other founding fathers of sociology
Bertha Reply
He's a sociologist that looks at society at macro level & is a conflict theorist that looks at the inequalities within society. For example functionalists (Emile Durkheim) focuses on value consensus. On the other hand Marxists view the inequalities.
Kimmy

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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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