chapter  2
24 Pages

‘My Gawd, I made it like Australia’ Making meaning in many media

Our view of the world is in many ways pre-established for all of us. These habituated ways of seeing and of acting are nearly invisible to us; they have become second nature, obvious and beyond the need or the possibility of inspection. This naturalization has its foundation in the myriad of social and cultural experiences which make up our own personal histories. Nevertheless it may be useful to focus on two relatively different kinds of influences in this shaping of common sense: overt instruction, and our own practical experience. Overt instruction comes in many ways, from the parent or teacher’s direct instruction: ‘No, not this way, that way’; ‘No, that’s not the reason, this is’; ‘No, that’s not what you do, this is what you do.’ In an example that sticks in my mind, a friend’s friend, in teaching her 3-year-old to cook scones, says: ‘No, James, you don’t spit on the spoon’—when he had just done so.