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Real and Ideal Culture

Real and Ideal Culture

Author: Paul Hannan

Differentiate between the concepts of real culture and ideal culture.

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Notes on "Real and Ideal Culture"

Source: Intro Music by Mark Hannan; Public Domain Wedding; Public Domain:

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[MUSIC PLAYING] Welcome this episode of Sociology Studies of Society. Today's lesson is on real and ideal culture. As always, don't be afraid to pause, stop, rewind, or even fast forward to make sure get the most out of this tutorial.


So today's tutorial is a rather brief one. We're just looking at one concept, well, two concepts that are really closely tied together. And that's real and ideal culture.

Ideal culture is what our culture says we value. So there I have an image representing marriage. You know our culture says we really value marriage. That's what we say.

Now what actually happens? Well real culture is that exact opposite side, well sometimes opposite, what really happens in cultures. So we may say that we really value marriage, but our culture has a really-high divorce rate. So what we say we value, we say we value marriage. Our ideal culture sometimes is different from the real culture what actually happens.

Today's takeaway message, ideal culture is what society claims to value, and real culture is what society actually values. So that's it for this lesson, good work, and hopefully you'll be seeing me on your screen again soon. Peace.

Terms to Know
Ideal Culture

The cultural values and positive self-images to which a society aspires.

Real Culture

What people really do on the ground level in society, and what cultural patterns people really have.