Sunday, 23 May 2010

Society and Culture – Social and Cultural world - Concepts

The unit "The Social and cultural world" is a study on the interactions between persons, societies, cultures and environments both in contemporary society and societies across time. In this unit there is a list of fundamental concepts which are important to understand as part of the SAC course.

As with my previous post on the concepts of society and culture these definitions are only broad overhangs in efforts to provide a basic understanding of the concepts.

Social and cultural literacy

The goal of the SAC course is to achieve Social and Cultural literacy. A socially and culturally literate person is able to communicate across society and other societies as they understand their place in society and are able to understand the different values, beliefs, customs and behaviors. They understand that people's values and beliefs may differ dramatically both within their society and across societies and are able to communicate to them without bias, judgment or prejudice because of their differing behaviors.

Micro world

A person's micro world is their immediate world of connections, consisting of family, peers, school and work, as well as any other social groups that a person may belong to. It is the world that you are connected to via personal experience, and throughout the SAC course you are often asked to refer to examples from your micro world.

Macro world

This refers to the broad outside world that exists beyond your micro world. It is the world communicated through access to public knowledge. Your country, the international community or the rest of your society outside of your direct connections are your macro world.


The term community generally refers to a group of people who are drawn together by common interests, ideas, values, location and networks.


Communication is what undermines societies, because communication is the way that people within society interact with one another. Communication can refer to the macro world forms of communication such as television, the internet and newspapers as well as micro world communication in the form of talking. Communication can also refer to the reflected ideas of symbols within a society (eg: flags).


Conflict is the disagreements that occur within the various levels of a society. Conflict is caused by inequality within a society, a lack of understanding of differing ideas and values or a struggle for power. (example of conflict: Trade unions and employer organizations frequently disagreeing over workers rewards and conditions).


The socialization process is the progression from a child to an adult within a society. Socialization is learning the values and beliefs of your culture as well as developing your personal values and understanding of the world. By the end of the socialization process, an unsocialised child will become a fully functioning and belonging member of their society.


Enculturation is the learning of accepted patterns and behaviors of a culture, and how to implement them in order to fit into a society.


Acculturation is the learning and understanding of other cultures and the transfer of knowledge from one culture to one another.


Collaboration refers to the collaboration of people in a society working together to achieve a common goal. "team behavior" is cooperation in action.


Change is the understanding that something has become different to the way it was before. It refers to the break in a tradition and the differing beliefs and values that occur across time.


Multiculturalism refers to a society in which people with a wide variety of cultural practices are present. Australia for example, is referred to as a multicultural society because even though there are a wide variety of cultural differences between the people within the Australian society, yet they all act as one society. Multiculturalism is an example of intercultural communication in action.

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