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(Notes taken from the internet and Sociology in our times Third Canadian Edition)

Compare Mi’kmaq culture to the dominant Euro-Canadian culture.

Culture is a large and integral part of our everyday lives. It is our beliefs, values, behaviors, and material objects that create our way of life. It is human nature.

There are two types or parts to culture, in the eyes of the sociologist, the material and the nonmaterial culture. A material culture is the part that is concrete and tangible. This includes things like buildings, art, or even a hairbrush. Raw materials are transformed into material culture through technology ( the knowledge, techniques, and tools that make it possible to transform resources into usable forms, and the knowledge and skills required to use them after they are developed).

The nonmaterial culture is the opposite. It includes things like religion, philosophy, ideas, family patterns, political systems, and beliefs.

According to William F. Ogburn, cultural lag is a gap between the technical development (material culture) of society and its moral and legal institutions (nonmaterial culture).

Cultural universals are customs and practices that occur across all societies (appearance, activities, social institutions, customary practices, etc.).

Many people use the word culture interchangeably with society. However, sociologists do make a distinction. Culture is a shared way of living, while society is only the interaction of people within the boundaries of their culture. Although these differences are made, neither culture nor society could exist without the other.

Culture is so inbred into our being, that often times when we experience another culture different that our own, we encounter a disorientation called culture shock.

Theoretical Analysis

There are three main theories as to why we have culture. Although none of them fully explains this anomaly, they do provide some insights to the question.

The structural-functional paradigm believes that culture exists to fulfill a human need. Culture has different functions to ensure that everyday life continues to exist. One of the predominant sociologists in this paradigm, George Murdock, studied different cultures in 1945 to find evidence to support this theory. He found that all cultures share many of the same traits. He believed that the function of culture was like a universal family because it controls sexual reproduction and raising of children. Critics find fault in this theory

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