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Chapter 4-The Social and Cultural Construction of Reality notes Apr 6 2009

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University of Toronto St. George
Marcel Danesi

Ethnographic Examples: Tourism, be able to compare relationships to nature among North American homeowners (Lec 6) with those of Dene Tha and Adivasis Non-bolded Ideas: metaphors, myths **Sections of Focus: 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 & 4.6** Chapter 4: The Social and Cultural Construction of Reality N Totemism totem was an element of nature (ie animal, plant, insect) that served as a symbol for a group or clan worshipped and considered holy by the members of the group N Ritual o Freud said that people were worshipping their father in belief of god N Symbolic actions the rituals, myths, arts, literature, and music that we enjoy or participate in all play a role in organizing and making concrete a particular view of the world 4.1 How does language affect the meanings people assign to experience? N Edward Sapir suggested that specific languages serve not only as a medium of communication but also to define and guide our perception of experience N Specific languages somehow order the experiences of those who speak them N Vocabulary reflects a the social and physical environment of a people N Whorf Hypothesis N The ideas of Sapir Whorf and Edward sapir are suggestive and both men were very careful to avoid claiming that there is a causal link between language and thought N There is another sense in which language serves to give meaning to different events, and it has to do with the idea of metaphors N Borrowing meanings from metaphors N The words we use to describe one are of experience can also be used to describe another area metaphors take language from one domain of experience, such as the domain of the body or the domain of animals, and applies it to another domain, such as a persons or landscape features. N When language is extended from one domain to the other, meaning is also extended N Metaphors involve not only speaking of one experience in terms of another, but also understanding one experience in terms of another N We speak of argument in terms of conflict, taking the language from the domain of war and applying it to the domain of conversation (i.e. she shot down my argument) N The human body and war are not the only domains
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