Media, Access and Ownership

  • Malcolm Barnard


This chapter concerns visual signs and media; it is about the ways in which cultures are made visible. The idea of a culture that does not manifest or represent itself physically in some way is meaningless. Every form of culture must use something to stand for or represent itself, first to itself and second to others. The way in which cultures represent themselves physically, in order that they may be perceived, is by means of visual and aural signs. Most cultures use both visual and aural signs or media to communicate their beliefs and values. What one hears, or does not hear, is just as meaningful as what one sees or does not see. In many cultures, for example, quiet, or even silence, is used to suggest solemnity or to indicate the presence of a God or gods; different kinds of music, singing and other vocalisations are prescribed for different occasions like weddings, football matches, parties and so on. The rules for the volumes at which one talks, for example, are strictly controlled in all cultures.


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© Malcolm Barnard 1998

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  • Malcolm Barnard

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