Semester Exam Project- Sociology


- Cutlure refers to the knowledge, language, values, customs, and physical objects that are passed from generation to generation among members of a group. It is a human creation.

- There are two sides to cullture; Material side and nonmaterial side.

- On the material side, the United States includes such physical objects as skyscrapers, computers, cell phones, and cars.

- On the Nonmaterial side, American culture includes beliefs, rules, customs, family systems, and a capitalist economy.

- There are two roles of culture.

- One role of culture is to help explain human social behavior. Like what people do and don't do, what they like and dislike, what they believe and don't believe, and what they value and discount are all based on culture.

- Another role of culture is to provide the blueprint that people in a society use to guide their relationships with others.

- Because of culture teenage girls are encouraged to compete for a position on the women's basketball team. Because of culture that teenage boys come to believe that "Pumping iron" is a gateway to masculinity.


- Culture and society are tightly interwoven.

- One cannont exist without the other, but they are not identical.

- A society is a groups of people who live in a defined territory and participate in a common culture.

- All of the different elements of culture-knowledge, language, values, customs, and physical objects- form a whole culture that defines that society's total way of life.

- Human behavior, then, is based on culture.

- People are not born knowing their culture so human cultural behavior must be learned.

- People develop schemas, or mental outlines based on their experience or memory.

- People choose which socitety to be in.


-Instincts are genetically inherited patterns of behavior.

- Nonhuman animals, especially insects, are highly dependent on instincts for survival.

- Human infants cannot go very far on instincts alone, with that being said instincts are not enough to solve the problems that humans face.

- most social scientists view the role of instincts in human behavior as quite limited.

- Language would not be possible if humans did not have some instinct to learn certain things.

- If humans wer controlled by instincts alone, they would all behave in the same way with respect to those instincts.

- Women had an instinct for mothering, then all women would want children, and all women would love and protect thier children.

- Without instincts to dictate the type of shelter to build, the kind of food to eat, the time of year to have children, or when to mate, humans are forced to create and learn their own ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.


- Sociobiology is the systematic study of how biology influences human behavior.

- It combines Darwin's theory of natural selection with modern genetics.

- Sociobiology has many critics.

- The major criticism of sociobiology is that the importance placed on genetics could be used as a justifiction to label specific races as superior or inferior.

- Critics of sociobiology also point out that there is too much variation in societies around the world for human behavior to be explained on strictly biological grounds.

- They believe that the capacity for using language is uniquely human.

- Sociobiologists apply the princliple of natural selection to the evolution of social behavior.

- Sociobiologists do not draw a sharp line between human and nonhuman animals.

Heredity Affects Behavior

- Culture is not the only influence on human behavior.

- Genetic inheritance plays a role too.

- Genetic factors play a role in general intelligence and in personality traits.

- Genetic factors have been linked to traits such as kindness, agressiveness, sociability, drug and alcohol use, thrill seeking, depression, and anxiousness.

- Heredity sets broad parameters for the development of some behaviors and traits.

- People's actual behaviors and traits are formed by the interplay between genetic and environmental factors.

- Psychologists have used twin studies to try to determine the relative effects of genetics and environment on human behavior.

- The debate over the relative balance of these factors is sometimes referred to as the "nature versus nature" argument.


- All of these topics are similar because they are all The Basis of Culture.

- Each of the topics are applicable to my life because I once had to go throigh most of these, and because I learned about these in this class.

- Sociobiology and Society are connected with the shooting of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther. How because one it is a mess in our society, and anything can happen. Two we aren't prepared for the worst.