Over the last 20 years culture has become a key concept in intellectual disciplines across the social sciences and humanities. However, it is a notoriously difficult concept to pin down, having very different meanings in different contexts. This book seeks to chart a route through the maze, revealing the variety of meanings of culture. It demonstrates that culture is not something that emerges from out of human activity, but rather is part and parcel of it. This book looks at how culture emerges and manifests itself in human life, and how it is experienced in the life of individuals and collectivities. It also explores the ways in which globalizing processes and changes in technology are affecting cultural identity, and w
Chapter 4: Culture as Communication
Culture as Communication
In order to exist in the world, one of the first things we must learn is how to communicate. Communication is an essential quality of all life. If it is to survive in a material world, any life form must be able to communicate both with the world of matter and with other life forms. This is necessary in order for it to be able to feed and reproduce itself. For simple microbes this process may be very rudimentary, but it remains a necessary condition. As species evolve, so the means of communication take increasingly complex forms. Mating behaviour especially reveals this. In order to attract a mate, animals need to engage in an exchange of signs. This is so ...