Hearing and Listening

Hearing is the act of perceiving sounds through an organ such as the ears. Hearing is one of the five senses that humans have. But being able to perceive sound doesnt necessarily mean you are actively hearing this sounds. What i mean by that is that you could hear the sounds but not receive the messages that the sound is sending to you. On the other hand we have listening. Listening is the ability to receive and interpret the messages. When it comes to hearing we dont make choices on what we hear, unless we close our ears and stop every sound from being perceived. But listening is different, we are able to choose what we want to listen to and what information we want to receive and interpret. I think it depends on the situation or what is your goal on doing active listening. if your goal is to gather information or receive a message, for sure you will do active listening. I think that structural features like race, gender or social class may interfere on how the message is perceived. That meaning that how you interpret what you listen it is connected also with who you are, that means your gender or race. For example, an American woman from NY would interpret differently someone talking on a podcast about mental health, while another woman being probably from a country where mental health is not discussed as much as in America, would think that the podcast is nonsense and what she is listening would not probably be received and interpreted as in the American woman case. I think that another structural element that would affect listening is your life experience. This meaning that based on what people been through  makes them receive the messages of what they’re listening in different ways. For the same thing that two people are listening, they might have different point of views and they might receive the messages that they find most important as based on their life experiences.

On the second episode of ‘Ways of Hearing’ it is described the relationship of people with listening and space around them. One of Krukowski participants on this episode says how ‘people nowadays are part of this bubble they create when they have their headphones’. They are not part of the social space, they block everyone and everything becoming asocial and create their own space on their own thoughts. While Schafer mentions how ‘the keynote sounds of a given place are important because they help to outline the character of men living among them.’ He goes further saying ‘ The keynote sounds of a landscape are those created by its geography and climate: water, wind, forests, plains, birds, insects and animals. Many of these sounds may possess archetypal significance; that is, they may have imprinted themselves so deeply on the people hearing them that life without them would be sensed as a distinct impoverishment.’ It is very interesting thinking of how important is hearing as related to space. What Schafer meant was that we connect sound to space and we get used with them to the point that not having them connected anymore would make our life not as lively as before.