Book review: Martin Montgomery. Language, Media and Culture: The Key Concepts

Please download to get full document.

View again

of 6
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Similar Documents
Information Report



Views: 0 | Pages: 6

Extension: PDF | Download: 0

Book review: Martin Montgomery. Language, Media and Culture: The Key Concepts
    –   Martin Montgomery  .  Language, Media and Culture: The Key Concepts . London – New York: Routledge, 2019. xvi + 163pp. Reviewed by Pan Li and Huang Chuxin  (Guangdong University of Foreign Studies) Language, Media and Culture: The Key Concepts  is a splendid contribution inte-grating a range of disciplines concerning communication. The volume is of greatsignicance to Translation Studies (TS), in the sense that it provides an authorita-tive and invaluable guide to the closely interactive studies of language, media andculture, which TS can never overlook. The author, Martin Montgomery, Emer-itus Professor at the University of Macau and Visiting Professor at the Univer-sity of Strathclyde, is a leading sociolinguistic scholar engaged in teaching andresearching cultural studies, media studies, discourse analysis and literary linguis-tics among other subjects. While designed as a volume in  Routledge Key Concepts series and thus situated somewhere between a dictionary and an encyclopedia,the book presents entries on a range of key ideas and analytical terms in such aclear and enlightening way that it gives the reader tools and clues to navigate inthe complicated and oen confusing elds related to the study of communication.Given that translation is indispensable of media and a vital means of commu-nication across language and culture, this book, though not directly addressingthe issue of translation, can serve as a valuable interdisciplinary guide to studentsand researchers of TS. In fact, TS, interdisciplinary in nature and reasonably taking communication as its core concern, has developed most established theo-ries and approaches by drawing on research from linguistics, cultural, media andcommunication studies. The handbook is thus highly recommended for transla-tion scholars to enrich conceptual toolkits for comprehending the interweavingelds of language, media and culture in relation to translation.The book, as its title suggests, is an interdisciplinary endeavor, the same ascommunication studies in general and translation studies in particular. Drawingon a variety of disciplines to guide the studies of language, media, culture andmost importantly communication, it is not surprising to see that the entriesconsist of notions and analytical approaches proposed by linguists, sociologists,semioticians, philosophers, psychologists, psychiatrists, anthropologists, andtheorists in media, cultural, literary and communication studies, among otheracademic elds. As the author observes, “increasing numbers of scholars, studentsand researchers nd themselves working along the interfaces between cultural | Published online: 23 July 2019 Babel   65:3 (2019), pp. 465–470. issn 0521-9744 | e ‑ issn 1569-9668 © John Benjamins Publishing Company  and communication studies, linguistics and sociolinguistics, and media andinternet studies” (p.vii). This signies that the theories and models of variouselds are gaining currency in the study of communication. It also explains themajor disciplinary srcins of concepts discussed in the book. Readers engaged intranslation research or practice are very likely to gain insight into the close rela-tions between language, media, culture and communication in a careful readingof this volume.The introduction indicates that communication should be investigated in thelight of the interaction of language, media and culture, a kind of study still rela-tively unexplored and in need of being addressed as “the major communica-tive issues of our time” (p.vii). Focusing on communication, the introductionbriey yet insightfully explains the ways that language, media and culture relateto one another in communication. To start with, as the foundation of commu-nication and therefore that of translation as well, language, is such a foremostnotion that over a third of the key concepts of the book devote to it, ranging frombasic linguistic terms such as  accent   (p.3) to the complicated linguistic analyt-ical models or approaches, such as  critical discourse analysis (CDA)  (p.26) and conversation analysis (CA)  (p.24). The concepts on language illuminating to thecurrent tendencies of communication and translation studies include those inlinguistics, semiotics, hermeneutics, discourse studies and literary studies thatillustrate how meaning is generated, conveyed and interpreted, how a languagecan be aected by language from other culture or countries, and how discoursecan be analyzed in public and social contexts, as seen in  concordance  (p.21) fromcorpus linguistics,  discourse act   (p.38) from CDA and  language pollution  (p.69)from sociolinguistics. Most of them are explained in relation to communication,and some provide insightful ideas and analytical perspectives for readers engagedin TS. For instance, the concepts on sociolinguistics, such as  dialect   (p.32),  infor-malisation  (p.61),  register   (p.104) and  speech community   (p.121), might be usefulfor the study of contextual factors and social relationship in translation and toexamine the inequality between languages in translation process. As for media, the profound transformation in communication in the last twoor three decades ( has unavoidably changed the translation practice andresearch in various ways. While the booming new media especially social mediaposesgreatchallengestohowlanguageispresentedandhowthefactsarecommu-nicatedanddecipheredwithitssocialandculturalimpacts,mediamightinuencetranslation in general, news translation and audiovisual translation in particular.Key concepts concerning media mainly draw on journalism and media studies,such as the entries on news, publishing, broadcast, social media, lm studies, tele- vision studies and Internet studies. They reveal how the technological advancesin media have aected the editing, presentation and dissemination of news in the 466  Pan Li and Huang Chuxin  information society, and the role and position of journalism in dierent societies.Specic concepts such as  bias  (p.12),  infotainment   (p.62),  impartiality   (p.59) and  public sphere  (p.101) are very likely to be illuminating to the study of media trans-lation. The entries on Internet studies reect that the new media where variousopinionscanbeposedonlineinaneasyandanonymouswayhascausedthewide-spread irrelevant, unreliable or inammatory message in the virtual community.The entries on lm studies such as  diegesis  (p.34),  diegetic sound   (p.34) and  lmlanguage (p.46),and multi-modality  (p.82)indiscoursestudiesoerfundamentalknowledge about the form and production of lms and some elements of audiovi-sualtranslation.Culture is regarded in the book as “a much-contested term” (p.28) becauseof its varied meanings in dierent elds like anthropology and sociology. Fromthe subtle denitions of various kinds of culture, the reader is aided withconcepts to reect on how they dier from one another in interpreting andcommunicating ideas, values and beliefs as presented in the entries on culturalstudies like  counter culture  (p.25),  cyberculture  (p.28),  emergent culture  (p.41), high culture  (p.56),  folk culture  (p.48),  residual culture  (p.106),  sub-culture (p.125) and  youth culture  (p.140). Cultural studies as a whole seeks to examinehow meaning is generated and disseminated within particular political,economic and social spheres. Dierent cultures vary in how they use languagein everyday interactions and relationship maintenance (Montgomery 1995:210).Language, taken as a component of culture, is thus linked to intercultural under-standing (Saint-Jacques 2014). For scholars of TS, even though TS has no longerin the stage of interfacing primarily with cultural studies, it is still critical toexamine how culture aects translation between cultural contexts and how translation goes through trans-cultural lens since translation always concernscommunication between dierent cultures.Entries that incorporate language, media and culture mostly refer to the inte-gration of media and cultural studies, for example,  ideology   (p.58),  mediation (p.77),  power   (p.96),  encoding   (p.42),  domination  (p.40),  visual culture  (p.138),and  imagined community   (p.58). These overlapping concepts mainly discusslanguage, culture and society under the inuence of mass media and the insti-tutions of power, which mediate and impact public opinions as well as people’spositions and taste. All those concepts are vital in TS. For instance, in the study of news translation,  ideology, mediation, power  , and  domination  are frequently usedto interpret relevant factors related to news media in representing and translatingor trans-editing the news stories (Pym 2012: 161). Also illuminating for newstranslation is the misguidance and manipulation of thinking in news coverage.Most notably, translation is mentioned in two entries- linguistic relativity  (p.70) and  resemiotisation  (p.106).  Linguistic relativity   from anthropological Review of Montgomery (2019)  467  linguistics and CDA is a hypothesis that the language we use shapes how weperceive, experience and interpret this world. Hence translation between dierentlanguages might be impossible if “one’s native language totally constrained one’sthought-world” (p.71), but this hypothesis has been improved by drawing onpost-structuralism.  Resemiotisation  from discourse studies, linguistics and semi-otics is the transfer of meaning or message through a shi of medium or semioticmode. A case in point is linguistic translation where the meaning of the srcinaltext should be preserved in the target language. The translation between dierentstages such as the transition from a ction to a screen play should consider theaordances of dierent modes and the contexts in changing the modes or codes.This well-structured book presents altogether 417 key concepts in alphabet-ical order following an introduction and a list of key concepts and before a bibli-ography plus an index. The list of key concepts, also in alphabetical order withpage references, summarizes the book’s content for quick browsing and indicatesthe interdisciplinarity of the volume. The entries, ranging from one paragraphin length to a couple of pages, oer some concepts just “a quick denition” andothers a detailed introduction so as to provide “tools for thinking with” (p.vii).Basically, most entries consist of the grammatical form, disciplinary srcins and abrief denition followed by an in-depth discussion. Some conclude with furtherreadings with author’s surname and the year of publication, which direct thereader to a 12-page bibliography. The volume is concluded by a comprehensiveindex, with page references, of concepts and key scholars. A highlight of the index is its inclusion of the terms excluded from the list of key concepts but essential tothe explanations of related entries. The numbers of pages where the concepts arecross-conferenced in the text are also given in the index, where the numbers inboldface signify main entries.The friendly handbook is written with a wide readership in mind. Readersfamiliar with one eld can have their knowledge refreshed through synthesizing valuable insights gained from concepts of other elds. Experienced researchersand practitioners can take this book of broad scope as a useful reference tool tosupplement their academic library and to follow the trend of their areas. Studentsandresearchersnewtotheeldscanencounterclearexplanationsofcrucialtermsand theories, while teachers can use it as a reference or textbook for undergrad-uate or graduate course on media, cultural or communication studies. It alsoprovides a handy reference tool for interested laymen to broaden their minds.Readers will nd useful sources of familiar notions and valuable explanations of newconcepts.Helpfully,theinformativecontentofeachentryconsistsofthebrief denition, historical srcins, up-to-date references and development trends wherepossible to provide more reliable and authoritative explanation. Additionally, to 468  Pan Li and Huang Chuxin  demonstrate the evolution of a concept, the rst scholar to introduce it is claried,sometimes along with which work it derived from.In this challenging endeavor to cover as much key concepts in communi-cation studies as possible, minor caveats understandably exist in the book. Forinstance, the concept  subject position  contained in the list of key concepts isomitted from both the entries and the index. Moreover, given the complex rela-tionships of the multidisciplinary concepts, it will be more user-friendly if a sepa-rate list of the subject areas covered in all entries can be added in the furtheredition. But the pitfalls should not diminish the exceptional merit of this book asa valuable work expected to bridge the elds of language, media and culture todeal with complex aspects of communicative issues. It goes without saying thata handbook of this kind concerning communication requires continual updatesand adjustments considering the rapid changes in information and communica-tion technologies.  Acknowledgement This research has been supported by Center for Translation and Communication, School of Interpreting and Translation Studies, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. References Montgomery, Martin. 1995.  An Introduction to Language and Society  , 2nd edition. London:Routledge.Pym, Anthony. 2012.  On Translator Ethics Principles for Mediation between Cultures . Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Saint-Jacques, Bernard. 2014. “Intercultural Communication in a Globalized World”. In Intercultural Communication: A Reader  , 14th edition, ed. by L.A. Samovar; R.E. Porter;E.R. McDaniel; and C.S. Roy, 16–26. Boston: Cengage Learning.Review of Montgomery (2019)  469
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks

We need your sign to support Project to invent "SMART AND CONTROLLABLE REFLECTIVE BALLOONS" to cover the Sun and Save Our Earth.

More details...

Sign Now!

We are very appreciated for your Prompt Action!