In today’s world of intercultural communication when there seem to be no more borders between various countries around the whole world, understanding the culture of another nation is vital. No business can be conducted effectively without learning the endemic laws and traditions of the given area as well as no happy relationship can be built between people is they are not trying to study the preferences and beliefs of the other part. On the other hand, culture also makes a person humane – representatives of one area often have to face and accept the completely opposite view on the world of other aboriginal people which may frequently lead to the conflict if not handled with understanding, respect, and patience. Studying culture means recognizing equality for everyone. To learn deeper one’s own culture means to reveal the desire to understand one’s own co-patriots, parents and other relatives better. Furthermore, it helps to open the new sides to one’s own behavior (for example, form biases and prejudices) which can stem out from the culturally-implicit motifs which are so deeply enrooted into the lifestyle of people that people simply do not notice them.
The most significant fears which the elite started experiencing with the rapid expansion of the mass society can be as follows:
- ‘Mob rule’ or ‘the tyranny of the majority’ is quite eloquent in itself: The massive amounts of people now have the access practically to any sector of our lives blurring the lines between ‘the chosen ones’ and ‘the mass’;
- Education, politics, business activities, etc. have become easy to obtain constituting one of the main concerns of the elite layer of the population which does not want to recognize the possibility of ‘provincials’ to have the same rights as ‘aristocracy’ and be ruled or taught by them later on;
- The visible decline of the high culture. If to look back – just 150-300 years ago, people will see a sharp difference between those at the top, at those who are considered to be a ‘mob’. The manners, clothes, and interpersonal communication were much different from what we have now and what reminds more ways of the ‘mob’.
The main three problems which can be closely associated with the Mass Society Theory are:
- The equal interaction among people is possible when as many individuals express their points view, that many they will receive. In the mass society, less people express their ideas, however, more accept them which deprives people of individuality, critical thinking and understanding one’s own needs and not the values imposed on the effective marketing;
- Nowadays, the communication is frequently organized in such a way that it becomes a challenge for a person to react to all incoming information both fast and producing a qualitative feedback;
- The autonomy of the mass is not real as it is greatly influenced by the authorized agents who do everything possible to eliminate any individual thinking and keep the mass under a strict control which still remains invisible.
Semiotics is the study of various signs (including non-linguistic ones) and processes that they undergo (sign symbolism, metaphors, significance of science, analogy, or likeness, communication, designation and indication).
Sign can be defined as something that possesses a certain meaning which is different from itself, and which carries in it a piece of information to the target audience.
The levels of meaning in a sign are represented by the connotations and denotations. The first level is of denotation which means that a sign consists of two major components – signifier and signified. The second level represents connotation which applies signifier or signified as its own signifier and then combines it with one more signified. On such background, denotation turns out to be a trigger of the chain reaction of the production of connotations.
A myth is a story which frequently explains how people do what they do and how the entire world functions, often instilled with the religious, supernatural and allegoric elements. One of the most well-known myths nowadays can be truly considered the Greek myths which gave rise to the development of the various cultures worldwide. Greek mythology depicts mostly good-looking, athletic gods who not only decide the fates of people but also actively interact with one another which often leads to various conflicts and sad consequences for simple people. Zeus, Athena, Hermes, Dionysus, Apollo and many others have all their own stories which depict their life in details.
Ideology is a set of a person’s beliefs and ideas (both conscious and unconscious) which represent their expectations and goals. The best example of ideology can be taken from politics: The Communistic promotion of the collective ownership which will not have any other controlling body but the single party or the emphasis on the revolutionary potential of peasants by Mao Zedong.
Political economy (or Marxism) by Karl Marx is based on the materialistic interpretation of any historical and social change as well as the interaction between different classes in society. The accentuation of the materialistic values may become a serious challenge for a harmonious development of the relationships among the members of a popular culture where values of morality should be stressed on.
Gramsci’s hegemony initially denoted the political excellence of the working-class during the democratic revolution. Gramsci expanded the idea focusing on the importance of the capitalistic class to maintain control over the mass. The idea was overtaken by the Communists who destructed thousands of people.
The three types of feminism are as follows:
- Liberal feminism works in the mainstream society, engaging as many women as possible into their structure, and claiming equality for women;
- Radical feminism regards the oppression of any women’s rights as the most significant oppression, which is more serious than race, economic class, or culture;
- Cultural Feminism went back to vanguardism which aimed to promote female culture and engage women into the multiple social issues.