Chapter 3 Study Questions & Exercises

Culture

Review Questions

  1. Describe the dominant culture in Canada.
  1. Define subculture and counterculture and give one example for each. Explain how they differ and in which ways they are alike.
  1. “Folkways and mores can change over time.” Explain using examples.
  1. Do taboos go under change in the course of time? Provide some examples.
  1. Define “values” and discuss whether or not Canadian and American values are converging over time or diverging.
  1. What is the relationship between Eurocentrism and cultural globalization? Provide one example for each.
  1. Discuss cultural relativism. According to the textbook, what are the two dimensions of cultural relativism?
  1. How do ethnocentrism and cultural relativism differ in how they approach another culture?
  1. Define “symbol” and explain the cultural significance of a specific cultural symbol (artifact) of your choice.

Exploration and Discussion Exercises

  1. Explore the following websites:
  • www.thehollywoodgossip.com
  • www.perezhilton.com
  • www.thesuperficial.com
    Or look through the following magazines:
  • Star
  • Us Weekly
  • The National Enquirer
  • What do these sources tell us about North American values, folkways, and mores?

    Celebrities are people—just like you and me—so how is it that we have information about their most intimate experiences in life, while they do not even know our names? Celebrities are in the spotlight while they work. Why do they lack the freedom to simply “be” after their workday ends?

    Picture your photo being taken (or even worse, a video being shot of you) after leaving a party, gathering, or bar. Then imagine the next day you read an article about yourself, relating an incident that never occurred. Consider how and why society allows people to shift or change norms and values for celebrities? Why are they subject to this treatment? Why do these mass media tools exist?

  1. Reading and deciphering are two processes sociologists apply to the consumption of culture. Read and decipher your favourite movie.