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High School — Social Studies
People in Societies


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    People in Societies


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      Overview: Talking with Teachers about People in Societies

      Our lives are greatly influenced by the societies in which we live. Each society contains distinct belief systems and languages, social relationships, institutions and organizations, and material goods such as food, clothing, buildings, tools and machines. Any society will contain various cultures, which are influenced by ethnicity, religious beliefs, and customs such as styles of music or dress as well as food, traditions and holidays. Today it is common to see members of different cultures living together in the same communities while still maintaining strong cultural identities and ties.

      Historically, advancements in transportation and communication, along with wars and natural disasters, have increased interaction among cultures. The interaction has not always been peaceful. Some cultures have suffered discrimination and oppression at the hands of others, and many disputes remain unresolved. Cultural interaction can, however, bring about great gains. For example, trading practices in ancient civilizations led to the spread of the world's first known writing systems and the spread of languages and religious beliefs.

      Cultural diffusion refers to the spread of different cultural beliefs and practices throughout the world. Our modern world has experienced significant cultural diffusion. We can recognize music and dance trends from one culture as they become popularized and incorporated into another. By examining the interactions of people in societies, we gain a greater understanding of ourselves and our world.

      Ohio's Academic Content Standards establish the following expectations for student performance in the area of People in Societies:

      • Students use knowledge of perspectives, practices and products of cultural, ethnic and social groups to analyze the impact of their commonality and diversity within local, national, regional and global settings.

      The content in this Teaching Tool is based on Ohio's Academic Content Standards: K-12 Social Studies and includes types of questions asked on the Ohio Graduation Test. While various activities are suggested for working with students, this Teaching Tool is designed to complement a rigorous, research-based curriculum, not to substitute for one.

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