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Starting point for the understanding of culture, society, and political identities

What is the interplay of culture, society,and, political identities?

Social Science as a discipline studies the society and the manner in which people behave
and influence the world around us. The goal of social science is to answer different questions
and find solutions to problems of society to improve human condition despite cultural, social and
political differences.

Manifestation of Human Variations Through Cultural Diversity, Social Differences, And


Political Identities

CULTURAL DIVERSITY
-It refers to “that complex whole which encompasses beliefs, practices, values, attitudes,
laws, artifacts, symbols, knowledge, and everything that a person learns and shares as a member
of society.” (E.B. Tylor 1920)
-It influences their views, their values, their humor, their hopes, their loyalties, and their
worries and fears.

Culture are internally affected by both forces encouraging change and forces resisting
change.

These forces are related to both social structures and natural events, and are involved in the
perpetuation of cultural ideas and practices within
current structures, which themselves are subject to change.

SOCIAL DIFFERENCES

Social stratification is the arrangement of individuals or groups into a hierarchy.


Social stratification is the arrangement of the members of a society into different categories
of class, caste or a hierarchy based on factors like income, wealth, status, occupation, or even
ethnicity. Sociology has borrowed the concept of stratification from the science of geology (of
the Earth into different layers). Unlike in geology though, where all layers of the Earth are the
same, in sociology, there is an unequal distribution of rights and privileges through the social
strata.

Social differences based on unique social characteristics or qualities like social class,
gender, age, educational attainment, and occupation.
In sociology, social differences is equated with social stratification, this describes the
relative social position of person in a social group, category, geographical region or other social
unit.

Structure of Class System


The upper class has high personal income, inherited wealth and economic influence
The middle class are the small businessmen, teachers, merchants, traders with modest
income
The lower class has earning low incomes with a little or no savings; some are unemployed

Criteria that determine a person’s social position:


• Color of skin
• Beauty
• Money
• How influence they are in the community

POLITICAL IDENTITIES
The world is divided into different countries. Each country has its own political system to
run its government.
A government is the system by which state or community is controlled so as to put order.

POLITICS IN THE PHILIPPINES


Politics in the Philippines has traditionally been dominated by clans and political bosses and
patronage and is characterized by law makers that make decisions based on fiscal incentives
rather
that beliefs and voters that make choices based on personality rather than reasoned policies.
Under the traditional Utang na loob system of patronage, or obligation earned through favors,
voters expect money or jobs in return for their political support. In many cases politician’s
performance was based on dole-outs not on programs or policies. Philippine concepts about debt
repayment and kinship responsibilities plays a major role in how political networks are set up
and run
(See FILIPINO CHARACTER AND PERSONALITY: HIYA, AMOR PROPIO Under People).
Personalities are more important than parties in Philippine politics. Movie stars and other
celebrities have enjoyed considerable success.
In addition, several prominent families play a disproportionate role in politics. The support of the
military and the Catholic church are key to
political survival and success in the Philippines. Promises are generally not kept. Arroyo, for
example, pledged to bring cheap power to the poor as a campaign pledge and then doubled
power
rates after she was elected. She also promised not to run for a second time but changed her mind
because she said God made
her decide to run.

The Philippines is known for its rough-and-tumble political scene. Politicians are routinely
killed and sometimes they even do the do the killing themselves. Every now and then it seems
the entire country is on the verge of collapse because of a coup attempt, People Power protest or
impeachment effort. On the day-to-day level, politicians are unable to achieve many of their
goals and carry out programs they proposed due to political opposition, mainly from the ruling
elite. Arroyo and her cabinet said that political fighting and sniping exhausted and frustrated
them deeply.

SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDYING CULTURE,


SOCIETY, AND POLITICS
• In this modern globalized society, social issues and social
problems are more complex than ever before and the interplay of culture, society and politics in
the process could not be denied.
• Social science is a very complex study. It is divided into
different areas according to focus or subject.
• A special focus on the interplay of Anthropology (culture), Sociology (society), and
Political Science (political identities and government)
ANTHROPOLOGY
• Is the holistic “science of man”, a science of the totality of human existence.
Field Subfield
Physical Anthropology Human Paleontology and Human Variation
Cultural Anthropology Archaeology, Linguistics,and Ethnology

Physical Anthropology
• sometimes called Biological Anthropology mainly concerns about how humans emerged
and evolved through time
(under the study of paleontology)
• second concern is how human beings differ
biologically
(under the study of human variation)

Cutural Anthropology
• basically concerns the difference of cultures from time to time

Three main branches:


1) Archaeology – studies past cultures through tangible or material remains
- they help reconstruct the life and culture of the humans in the prehistoric time

2) Anthropological Linguistics
– anthropological study of languages
– they explain the difference of languages by culture and how it is constructed
3) Ethnology
– study of recent and present cultures
– they explain the difference of cultures before and the recent through vigor research,
examples: concept of beauty, marriage practices, etc

SOCIOLOGY is the study of relationships among people


It is the study of the society and the behavior of people in the society

Sociological Imagination an idea of C. Wright Mills in “The Promise”

According to Mills, (1959)


“ The Sociological Imagination enables us to grasp the connection between history and
biography within society”
2 Major Approaches to examine the human society:
1) macro-level perspective
2) micro-level perspective

Macro-Sociology
examines the social structures, the social institutions, social organizations and social groups
uses structural functionalist perspective and the conflict perspective in examining the larger
social structure

Micro-Sociology
places more emphasis on the role of the individuals in society
uses the symbolic interactionist perspective to look into the interactions between or among
individuals in society

Sociology’s Four Theoretical Perspectives:

1) Structural-Functional (Functionalism)
- is a framework for building theory that sees society as a complex system whose parts
work together to
promote solidarity and stability
- Herbert Spencer and Robert Merton were major contributors to this perspective

2) Conflict Perspective/Social Conflict


- this theory views society as a system of groups that are not equal, and therefore
consistently generate conflict and change
*Protests highlighting social conflict led to more civil rights for African Americans
*Social conflict motivates people and societies to evolve over time

3) Symbolic Interactionist Perspective (Symblic Interactionism)


- major framework of sociological theory
- relies on the symbolic meaning that people develop and rely upon in the process of
social interaction
For example:
Why would young people smoke cigarettes even when all objective medical evidence points
to the dangers of doing so?
*The answer is in the definition of the situation that people create.
Studies find that teenagers are well informed about risks of tobacco, but they
also think that smoking is cool, that they themselves will be safe from harm,
and that smoking projects a positive image to their peers.
*So the symbolic meaning of smoking overrides that actual facts regarding smoking and
risk.

4) Feminism
- the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities
- organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests