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4 Tutorials that teach Cultural Change and Integration
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Cultural Change and Integration

Cultural Change and Integration

Author: Zach Lamb
Description:

This lesson will define and explain cultural integration and culture lag.

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Tutorial

Source: Intro Music by Mark Hannan; Public Domain

Video Transcription

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Hello. And welcome to sociological studies. As always, thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to study society. In today's lesson, we're going to talk about some topics that I find fascinating. We're going to talk about this idea of cultural integration and cultural lag. And the way that technology relates to ideas, thoughts, and culture in society.

We're going to talk about technological change produces cultural change. And how culture is systemic. And how parts of culture, when one changes, the other part of culture changes as well. How culture is not random but it's coherent. It's hole. It's holistic. And it works together. So let's get started right away with this idea of cultural integration.

Cultural integration is the idea that a cultural system is cohesive and systemic. Or, put another way, that when one element of a culture changes, other elements are likely to change as well. I'm going to give you the example of the culture of capitalism. Capitalism is the dominant economic system in the global economy. And it has its own associated culture.

So we're going to take a little bit of time to talk about how capitalism as a system for organizing production and consumption in society, then structures culture, structures politics, institutions. Let's turn now to that example.

Capitalism has its own cultural logic that must be in place in order for the whole system to tick. So capitalism has an associated market mentality. And by that, I mean we're hard wired buy cheaply, sell more expensive. We're hard wired in this idea of a transaction, of a market transaction involving money.

That leads us to individualism. Capitalism has an associated focus on the individual as opposed to the focus on the family and a broader social close knit group. We run around having to sell thyselves. We're selling our commodities in the market all the time. In order to get this job teaching you, I had to present myself very positively. That's the only reason I'm here. So we're always focused on selling ourselves.

This then permeates social relationships. If we're always focused on the individual, and where we're so accustomed to this market mentality, we're going to have fewer close social relationships. Social relationships become more fluid, more loose, more weak ties.

Next I starred in red the important cultural outgrowth of capitalism. Next we have growth. Capitalism must constantly grow. We must produce more output. Otherwise the system comes undone. That leads to consumerism. Consumerism is the single most important cultural outgrowth of capitalism. We are all trained how to be consumers. And if We're not buying, buying, buying, buying, the system will come unraveled.

So this growth mentality, and a consumerist ideology, has effects on the environment. We're always wrenching from the environment as much as we can, raw materials, to produce more goods. To keep the system turning. So capitalism then, affects our treatment of the environment. How we see the environment.

Finally, then, capitalism is also related to the state. This idea of the nation state in the country. We have laws in place that protect property rights. To ensure that the system can continue to function. The nation state is an entire set of laws and politics. Politicians argue about how best to run this baby. How to keep this thing going.

So you see then, capitalism has its own internal cultural logic. And all parts of the system are related. But yet they all flow from this singular organizational cultural facet capitalism. Having established the idea of cultural integration and the systemic aspect of culture, we can turn now to this concept cultural lag. Which says that some parts of culture change faster than others. Which can cause disruptions or inconsistencies in the system.

For instance, material objects change typically faster than our ideas of the material objects. Or our cultural understanding of material objects and how to use them. Technologies change and we have to adjust to that change. That's a process of adjustment.

For instance, the technology of the computer gave us this information society. Computer aided processing in production. So the last 30 years have been coming to terms with how to use computers in society. Technology changes first. Ideas follow.

Again, let's just define technology briefly as any useful tool or skill. So when our tools change, our ideas change as well.

This is a cultural lag. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Have a great rest of your day.

Notes on "Cultural Change and Integration"

Terms to Know

Cultural Integration

The idea that a cultural system is cohesive and systematic; when one element of a culture changes, other elements are likely to change with it.

Cultural Lag

Some parts of a culture change faster than others, causing disruptions and adjustments in the system.

Technology

Any useful tool or skill. Technology is more than just "high tech" computers and electronics, which are things that we commonly think of today when we hear the term. A simple hammer and nail was at one point a revolutionary technology. Looking at technology as any useful tool or skill introduces a historical component to the concept.

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Technology

    Any useful tool or skill. Technology is more than just "high tech" computers and electronics, which are things that we commonly think of today when we hear the term. A simple hammer and nail was at one point a revolutionary technology. Looking at technology as any useful tool or skill introduces a historical component to the concept.

  • Cultural Lag

    Some parts of a culture change faster than others, causing disruptions and adjustments in the system.

  • Cultural Integration

    The idea that a cultural system is cohesive and systematic; when one element of a culture changes, other elements are likely to change with it.