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From the Utopia of Quietness to the Fear of Stillness: A Taxonomic Research Study to Understanding 'Silence' through the medium of radio and its Implications for Media, Education and Psychology.

Gutiérrez Menéndez, Luz María; (2019) From the Utopia of Quietness to the Fear of Stillness: A Taxonomic Research Study to Understanding 'Silence' through the medium of radio and its Implications for Media, Education and Psychology. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Questioning ‘what is silence?’ and wondering about silence and its very existence is not something that one would frequently witness. The definition of this noun by the Oxford dictionary states it as “a complete absence of sound” (‘Silence’, 2018), and it is even compared to language – “the fact or state of abstaining from speech”. Although these definitions must carry some kind of validity, experiencing silence could also be considered daunting. Having examined literature from ancient philosophers such as Socrates, as far back as 469 BC, to our present culture of immersion in the mass-media, this thesis aims to offer a systematic taxonomy of silence. A wider and more informed understanding of silence is established, that is hoped to benefit knowledge in fields such as health, psychology, media, education and personal development. This taxonomical approach has been created by means of qualitative interpretative phenomenological research, comprising a blend of different methods and styles: the study of a specific case employing a grounded theory lens (preliminary exercise) and eleven semi-structured interviews. The choice of a radio programme as a pilot was considered the best tool to use as a starting point, to enable examination of current thinking in the field, and because of the ‘blindness’ of the medium, so there is an advantage to expounding and exploring its cognitive resources without being limited or jeopardising the use of the vision. Content has been discussed, compared and contrasted after the transcriptions of both methods, supported by literature, in order to reinforce veracity and reliability. The findings of the empirical research have confirmed the different meanings of silence encountered in the review of literatures. It also adds another layer of critical and detailed understanding of silence. The meanings of silence drawn from literature – investigated through the case study and distilled by media professionals will provide a better understanding of silence within society, so that they could use silence to their own advantage. The contribution to knowledge offers and informs views and experiences about the role of silence, cultivating cognitive and critical skills, exposing four scopes: psychology; socio-psychology; physiology; and neuroscience. Although the results are not conclusive, this research project suggests informing professionals in health, media and education to take time to consider how silence could be beneficial, not just for them, but for their patients, clients and pupils.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: From the Utopia of Quietness to the Fear of Stillness: A Taxonomic Research Study to Understanding 'Silence' through the medium of radio and its Implications for Media, Education and Psychology.
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms.
Keywords: silence, taxonomy, emotions, media, education
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10083447
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