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 5: Experience of the Senses
Experience of the Senses
Christian tradition may extol the word as being at the beginning of the world, and there may be no denying its importance for the development of culture. As we have seen, the acquisition of language is an undoubted necessity for the process of becoming human. However, the word is not at our origin. The child in the womb may or may not be able to hear the words spoken around it, but even if it can it is unable, without any interaction, to distinguish the special quality of words from any other sounds. Its formation is far more connected to the rhythms of its own heartbeat and to the movements of the mother's body. Its world, prior to ...