Sociology of culture


The sociology of culture is the study of knowledge, customs and experiences that portray the behavior of individuals who live in community, over time.

Thus, the sociology of culture analyzes the intellectual development that gives identity to a group of individuals. This, according to its historical context, geographical location, philosophy, traditions, uses and way of communicating.

Importance of the study of the sociology of culture

Within the sociology of culture there are different examples that show its importance, by the way it influences individuals. Some of them are mentioned below.

  • Acculturation: It occurs when a group of individuals is in a process of receiving a culture other than their own, which requires an entire adaptation. This can be from a word in the language, to cases in which it completely changes the customs of origin. An example of this was colonization at the time. Another case in which acculturation is shown is the adoption of practices different from those of the culture of origin is that of globalization, which has been caused by commercial exchanges.
  • Culture shock or culture shock: It occurs when an individual changes their place of residence and must adapt to a new region. You may initially experience excitement about something different, but also anxiety, frustration, and longing. Especially if the culture of origin and the new one are very different from each other. The adaptation process depends on the circumstances in which the change of residence occurred.

It is necessary to bear in mind that individuals group with others by nature. But also due to the desire to belong to a new group, it is possible that they seek to adapt the cultural values ​​of the new region. Even if that means leaving behind some customs of the culture of origin.

  • Counterculture: It occurs when a social minority reveals itself to a dominant culture and the challenge they undertake is reflected in their clothing, verbal language, artistic expressions, attitudes, political ideas, public display of their opinions in relation to some act. Examples of them have been the movements that have demonstrated against wars, the defense of gender rights, freedom of expression, environmental movements, etc.
  • Multiculturalism: It occurs before the coexistence of several cultures in the same geographical space. This coexistence recognizes cultural diversity in all aspects of society with tolerance, without prejudice, or stereotypes. Although this does not imply that there is a mixture between cultures.
  • Interculturality: It occurs when two or more cultures coexist and there is cultural exchange between two or more groups.

It is because of the above that the sociology of culture provides theoretical and analytical tools to be able to interpret customs, traditions or knowledge. This is particularly important considering that cultural values ​​are fundamental to the organization of social relationships.

For its part, the conformation of identity contributes to give cohesion to any society. It is therefore necessary to understand what role it plays in the collective memory.

Tools of the sociology of culture

The sociology of culture is supported by several axes, such as:

  • Theoretical: Study of specific groups.
  • Heuristic: Analysis of the aspects that hold a social group together.
  • Axiological: Examine the way in which the processes that give identity to different social groups are constructed.

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