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Cultura della lingua inglese

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1 Cultura della lingua inglese
Culture Representation

2 Oxford English Dictionary
Worship, reverential homage The action or practice of cultivationg the soil, tilliage, husbandry The cultivating or rearing of a plant or crop The artificial development of microscopic organisms The trainig of the human body The cultivation or development (of the mind, faculties, manners, etc); improvement or refinement by education and training


4 Chris Barker, Cultural Studies. Theory and Practice, SAGE, 2000
What is Culture? 1) HIGH CULTURE Matthew Arnold defined culture as “the best that has been thought and said in the world”. Reading, observing and thinking were considered the means towards moral perfection and social good. Culture (meant as the form of human civilization) is counterpoised to the anarchy of the ‘raw and uncultivated’ masses. (aim: to safeguard human values against materialism) 1864 – The Function of Criticism at the Present Time 1880 – The Study of Poetry

5 F.R. Leavis – defined culture the high point of civilization, the concern of an educated minority. In his view it is necessary: To define and defend the best of culture represented by the canon of good works To criticize the worst of mass culture represented by advertizing, films and popular fiction

6 2) CULTURE IS ORDINARY Culturalism: an anthropological approach Culturalism developed a different notion of culture in opposition to Arnold’s elitist conception. It developed a notion of culture which focuses on meanings generated not by individuals alone but by collectives. The idea of culture refers to meanings generated and shared by ordinary people in the context of everyday life.

7 Richard Hoggart The Uses of Literacy (1957) explores the character of the English working-class culture as it developed and changed from the 1930s to the 1950s. Hoggard’s legacy is the legitimacy of the detailed study of working class culture.

8 Edward Thompson The Making of the English Working Class (1963) focuses on the lives, experiences, beliefs, attitudes and practices of working people. “Class happens when some men, as the result of common experiences (inherited or shared) feel and articulate the identity of their interests as between themselves, and as against other men whose interests are different from (and usually opposed to) theirs” (The Making of the English Working Class, 1963, pp. 8-9)

9 Raymond Williams ( ) 1958 Culture and Society 1965 The Long Revolution, London Penguin 1981 Culture London Fontana 1983 Keywords. A Vocabulary of culture and society,London Fontana

10 Raymond Williams ( ) Williams was concerned with working class experience and their active everyday construction of culture. His approach is anthropological in so far as he argues that meanings are generated not by individuals alone but by collectives (shared meanings)

11 His approach is defined cultural materialism: he focuses on a notion of culture meant as the set of representations and practices of everyday life in the context of the material conditions of their production (cultural materialism is “the analysis of all forms of signification […] within the actual means and conditions of their production”)

12 “In the last decades of the eighteenth century, and in the first half of the nineteenth century, a number of words which are now of capital importance, came for the first time into common English use, or, where they had already been generally used in the language, acquired new and important meanings

13 Five words are the key points form which this map can be drawn
Five words are the key points form which this map can be drawn. They are industry, democracy, class, art and culture. The changes in their use, at this critical period, bear witness to a general change in our characteristic ways of thinking about our common life: about our social, political and economic institutions.

14 How can we understand culture?

15 “Representation is an essential part of the process by which meaning is produced and exchanged between members of a culture” (S. Hall)

16 Culture is related to Language as a Representational System

17 What is representation?

18 Oxford English Dictionary
1. “To represent something is to describe or depict it, to call it up to the mind by description or portrayal or imagination; to place a likeness of it before us in our mind or in the senses; as, for example, in the sentence “This picture represents the murder of Abel by Cain”

19 2. To represent also means to symbolyse, stand for, to be a specimen of, or to substitute for ; as in the sentence, “In Christianity, the cross represents the suffering and crucifixion of Christ”

20 To represent to depict to portray to stand for to convey to describe
to explain…

21 Any representation implies a ‘communicative process’
Subject of representation (what is being represented?) Perspective of representation (the point of view from which representation occurs)

22 Subject of representation
Perspective of representation Diego Velasquez, Las Meninas 1656

23 Diego Velasquez, Las Meninas 1656 Subject of representaiton: Infanta
Royal Couple Perspective of representation: The spectator The painter The figure on the stairs The Royal Couple

24 To understand culture is to explore how meaning is produced symbolically through the signifying practices of language.

25 Any Representational System can be thought of as working according to the principles of representation through language

26 How does representation occur through language?

27 3. Constructionist approach
1. Reflective approach Meaning lies in the object. Language works like a mirror 2. Intentional approach The speaker imposes his meaning SEMIOTIC approach (Saussure) 3. Constructionist approach DISCURSIVE approach (Foucault)

28 Foucault 1972 The Archaeology of Knowledge In opposition to formalist theories which conceive of language as an autonomous system with its own rules and functions, Foucault argues that language develops and generates meaning under specific material and historical conditions. He attempts at identifying the historical conditions and determining rules of the formation of discourses or regulated ways of speaking about objects.

29 Language is not a neutral medium for the formation and transfer of values, meanings and forms of knowledge. Language is constitutive of those very values, meanings and knowledge. Language gives meaning to material objects and social practices that are brought into view and made intelligible to us in terms which language delimits. In this sense language constructs meanings.

30 Discourse: it constructs, defines and produces the objects of knowledge in an intelligible way while excluding other forms of reasoning as unintelligible. Discourse involves the production of knowledge through language: discourse gives meaning to material objects and social practices. (material objects and social practices obviously exist outside of language, but they are brought into view and given meaning by language))

31 Discourse regulates what can be said under determinate social and cultural conditions, it provides ways of talking about a specific topic with clusters of ideas, practices and forms of knowledge: discoursive formation Discourse regulates who can speak, where and when (association between discourse and power

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