DIMENSIONS: CONTEXT / Relationship
R E F E R E N C E S
1 Background n often attrib  1a: the scenery or ground behind something b: the part of a painting representing what lies behind objects in the foreground 2: an inconspicuous position 2a: the conditions that form the setting within which something is experienced b : the circumstances or events antecedent to a phenomenon or development : information essential to understanding of a problem or situation c: the total of a personÍs experience, knowledge, and education 4a: intrusive sound or radiation that interferes with received or recorded electronic signals b: a more or less steady level of noise above which the effect [as radioactivity] being measured by an apparatus [as a Geiger counter] is detected; esp: a somewhat steady level of radiation in the natural environment [as from cosmic rays]
-syn BACKGROUND, SETTING, ENVIRONMENT, MILIEU, MISE-EN-SCÉNE mean the place, time, and circumstances in which something occurs. BACKGROUND often refers to the circumstances or events that precede a phenomonen or development [the shocking decision was part of the backround of the riots]. Setting suggests looking at real-life situations in literary or dramatic terms [a militant reformer who was born into an unlikely social setting]. Environment applies to all the external factors that have a formative influence on one's physical, mental, or moral development [the kind of environment that produced juvenile delinquents]. Milieu applies esp. to the physical and social surroundings of a person or group of persons [an intellectual milieu condusive to artistic experimentation]. Mise-En-Scéne strongly suggests the use of properties to achieve a particular atmosphere or theatrical effect [a gothic thrillerl with a carefuly crafted mise-en-scéne].
[Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition. Springfield, MA, USA: Merriam-Webster, Inc. 1995.]
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