Discussion Questions One and Two

By Jimmy Lavorato

Question 1: How does communication influence culture?

Communication influences culture because culture is defined by the way people live. The way they receive information and react to it helps define who people are. Different communication strategies can be used to influence the population and therefore lead to decisions being made that would of otherwise not be made. Media communication can have such a strong influence in people’s lives, it can create ideas or beliefs, it can positively or negatively sway opinions, even part of a war can be fought through communication. The rate at which information is being passed currently, with Twitter and Facebook and all of the other social networking sites, the mass population is up to date with everything going on in their world because the information is literally right at their fingertips.  That is how we can conclude that communication is one of the largest factors in shaping culture.

Question 2: How do language and symbols create communication?

Language is the primary way to communicate, but symbols can be a very powerful representation of communication. Symbols are so powerful that the second we see them, our brain immediately produces an idea and an opinion on what it symbolizes. The peace sign is recognized by everyone, it was used as a way to spread an idea, the actual symbol sticks inside of people’s heads making it easier to remember the meaning. On the other hand the swastika was used to bring out fear in people, a symbol that was so powerful, it’s now illegal in Germany. Whether its trying to bring about a better world, or tear that world down, symbols can be a very useful weapon. We notice and recognize symbols every day of our life, we even permanently mark our bodies with them as representations of our thoughts and ideas. Another answer to this question would be easily found if we think of China and how they use symbols as their language and can communicate fluently with those symbols.

6 thoughts on “Discussion Questions One and Two

  1. Jimmy,

    I love your answer to the first question. The part that I love is about how fast technology can spread ideas or influence over a widespread amount of people. I totally agree with those statements. I think of Martin Luther King’s speeches to Hitler’s Jewish propaganda. Granted they did not have the technology that we currently have, but they are great examples of how communication affects culture. I loved your answer though because I agree with it completely.

    On your second question, I thought you made a great point when you stated, ” Symbols are so powerful that the second we see them, our brain immediately produces an idea and an opinion on what it symbolizes.” It really is true. I have tattoos of symbols on my body that represent my faith. You made a great statement I thought. Well done!

    -Austin M.

  2. Note: I was talking about examples when I stated MLK’s speeches to Hitler’s Jewish propaganda. I did not intend that MLK was speaking about Hitler but I used them in the same sentence as two separate examples. I am sorry for any confusion.

  3. Jimmy,

    I especially like when you said that wars can be fought through communication. If you stop to really think about it wars would never have developed without communication. Its crazy to think how fast messages can be delivered, all war orders used to be delivered by hand. Now you can be anywhere in the world and communicate with everyone, it’s not only a great, but scary thing to think about. Nice work!


  4. Jimmy,

    I found your second answer to be very interesting. I interpreted the question as symbols being like letters in the alphabet, I like that you thought of so many other examples. I think you hit it spot on when you said symbols give us instant recognition. I really liked how you considered tattoos as symbols. If you think about it, we are constantly judged by these symbols, some people think that if you have a peace sign you’re a hippie, or if they don’t like your tattoo they’ll judge you. In a roundabout way I’m trying to say that symbols can also be looked at as labels.


  5. Jimmy,
    I liked how you brought in mass communication into your first answer. That is the greatest shaper of culture. Through social networking sites, like you stated, information is passes at such an alarming rate our culture is being shaped everyday. In your second answer I like how you took symbols not as letters forming words but actual pictures. To every person there is a symbol that they relate to, worship, or even hate. Great Job.

  6. If the first question had a nose you would have hit it! Great response to what was asked of you, the fact that you threw in social networking sites in was a great twist to things! Your second answer is a grand one as well, the parts where you compared the peace sign and swastika keep a reader interested in what you have to say. Great ideas and great work!
    -Jack (John) Junker

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