Explain Hall’s concept of representation in your own words. What is the relationship between language and culture? How do we make meaning of the world through our conceptual maps (culture)? Attempt to ‘read’ the following ad identifying the signifier and signified, and the denotation and connotation.
Before explaining the relationship between language and culture we have to make sure what culture means nowadays. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) presents four definitions for the term culture: noun
* 1 the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively: 20th century popular culture * a refined understanding or appreciation of culture: men of culture * 2 the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society: Afro-Caribbean culture[count noun] :people from many different cultures * [with modifier] the attitudes and behaviour characteristic of a particular social group: the emerging drug culture * 3 Biology the cultivation of bacteria, tissue cells, etc. in an artificial medium containing nutrients: the cells proliferate readily in culture * [count noun] a preparation of cells obtained by culture: the bacterium was isolated in two blood cultures * 4 the cultivation of plants: this variety of lettuce is popular for its ease of culture
As we can read, culture means that there is a particular group of people – often considered as society – which shares the same ideas, practices and customs. Different though we may be, we have in common that we use certain customs, values and traditions. At first sight, we might not be aware of the fact that we belong to the same culture, but compared to other cultures or societies, we can see the similarities or in other terms: we have the same conceptual maps which allow us to interpret the world in roughly similar ways. Now that we have explained the term culture, it is time to figure out the relationship between language and...
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