Cultural behaviours Of US
1. Our culture is so deeply ingrained in us that many cultural behaviors seem so basic as to be human nature. Yet cross-cultural comparisons show great diversity in some of these behaviors. For example, in our culture we choose marriage partners on the basis of romantic love, which we assume is human nature, when in fact our culture is unusual in that respect. Select one behavior that most members of our society would assume is human nature and show how cross-cultural evidence demonstrates that the behavior is really culturally relative. Other examples might be our gender (male/female) roles, competitiveness, individualism, etc.
2. Sociologists frequently argue that human behavior cannot be explained in terms of natural instincts. Select an arena of human behavior that is popularly attributed to instinct such as sexuality, aggression, cooperation, competition, or deviance. Construct a sociological rebuttal of the instinct argument.
3. Drawing on the sociological distinction between dyads and triads, how would you expect the relations in a dorm room with two students to differ from one with three students?
4. Mills describes the sociological imagination as the intersection of biography and history. How would the sociological imagination understand your own family? Be specific about what ideas or concepts you are drawing from Mills.
6. The Miner article on body ritual was published in 1956. Rewrite it to describe body ritual among the Nacerima today. Draw on your observations of actual behavior and culture, not just media images. How has Miner’s method of looking at American society as though it were exotic help us understand American society better?
7. Swidler describes two cultures of love, a fantasy or “bourgeois” culture of love and a “real” culture of love. Identify another area of life where a “fantasy” culture coexists with a “real” culture of the same thing. Do you think people manage the conflict in the same way they handle the disjuncture between the two cultures of love?
8. Take one of the results from the Class Online Survey. If you encountered this result by reading about it in a newspaper, what questions would Best advise you to ask about it? Using his discussion as a guide to judging credibility of social statistics, how credible do you find the results from the survey?