REAL AND IDEAL CULTURE Sociology Help

REAL AND IDEAL CULTURE

In most societies some behavior patterns are generally condemned yet widely practiced. In some places these illicit behavior patterns have existed for centuries side by side with the cultural norms which are supposed to outlaw them. Malinowski cites as an example of this type of behavior the Trobriand Islanders, a group whose incest taboos extend to third and fourth cousins. If you were to inquire into the matter among the Trobriand you would find that  the natives  show horror at the idea of violating the rules of monogamy and that they believe that sores, disease and even death might follow

As in all societies, the Trobriand have some standardized ways of evading punishment. Malinowski observes Magic to undo the consequences of clan incest is perhaps the most definite instance of methodical evasion of law This n ,e illustrates the difference b tween the real and ideal culture. The ideal cult lire includes the formally approved folk and mores which people are supposed to follow (the cultural norms); the real culture consists of those which they actually practice (the statistical norms). For example, Warring [1958] found that in Kansas, a legally "dry' state at the time of his research, many pee Die drank in private while supporting the "Terrance" morality in public. He conclude t that the official morality served to prevent l .eruptive public controversy, without interfering with their drinking behavior. There are many such audiences between the real and the ideal('HC society. between the real and Ideal culture  is generally avoided by some kind " f rationalization which allows people to "eat their cake and have it, too." For example, Loewi [1940, p. 379] describes some Burmese villages which were Buddhist and whose inhabitants were therefore forbidden to kill any living thing, yet the villagers were dependent upon the murderous occupation of fishing. They evaded this contradiction by not literally killing the fish, which "are merely put out on the bank to dry after their long soaking in the river, and if they are foolish enough to die while undergoing the process, it is their own fault." Some such evasions example, marry en or mental issues are "settled" by passing stem antipollution laws to make the environmentalists happy and .hen "bending" these laws whenever they  inconvenience the polluters. A strict enforcement of highway speed limits might arouse so much argument and hostility among drivers who were only a little over the speed limit as to make the entire system unworkable, so a margin of about 10 miles an hour is generally permitted. Thus, the stated 55-mUe-an-ho U' speed limit (ideal culture) become: 🙂 6.5-mile-a·,hour limit in practice (real culture). Practical compromises are universe 'In some primitive societies courtship and marriage rituals are so cumbersome and costly that most marriages • through e present which is  couple are unusually awkward, that be caught and severely beaten, bu ordinarily they are able to make good their escape. After a period of penance, they are welcomed back into the sodal group. Thus the society can maintain a public morality without disrupting a useful practice. Such "adjustments" between real and. ideal culture are found in all societies.

Posted on September 1, 2014 in FIELD AND METHODS OF SOCIOLOGY

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