Sounding Out the City: Personal Stereos and the Management by Michael Bull

By Michael Bull

On buses, trains, and streets over the last decade and extra, youths particularly yet more and more older humans besides music into their own stereos and music out urban sounds. Why? What does the private stereo suggest to those humans and to city tradition extra regularly? Does it heighten truth? permit humans to manage? Isolate? Create an area? wrestle boredom? some distance too regular and enduring to be thought of a way accent, the non-public stereo has develop into a effective artefact symbolizing modern city life.This booklet opens up a brand new region of city reviews, the auditory adventure of self and position. In doing so, it complements our knowing of the position of media and expertise in daily life. city, cultural and anthropological stories were ruled via motives of stories drawing upon notions of visuality. yet tradition regularly has an auditory part that shapes attitudes and behavior -- maybe nowhere extra so than within the urban the place sound is intensified. This publication demanding situations strictly visible methods to tradition by way of featuring an auditory realizing of behaviour via an ethnographic research of non-public stereo use. the writer reformulates our knowing of the way humans, during the senses, negotiate significant reports of the city, reminiscent of house, position, time and the administration of daily adventure, and examines the serious position know-how plays.This booklet can be of curiosity to a person looking a clean and incisive method of city reviews, cultural reviews, anthropology, sociology, or media and verbal exchange reviews.

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Extra info for Sounding Out the City: Personal Stereos and the Management of Everyday Life (Materializing Culture)

Sample text

As personal-stereo users traverse the public spaces of the city they often describe the experience in terms of never leaving ‘home’, understood either symbolically or sometimes literally. The aim here is not to reach outwards into a form of ‘we-ness’ but rather to negate distance enabling the user to maintain a desired sense of security. Using a personal stereo is often described in terms of a feeling of being surrounded or enveloped. This is what users frequently mean when they refer to feelings of being at ‘home’.

Ben: interview number 41) This description of being rooted to the spot is not based on fear but represents the difficulty experienced of switching into an appropriate 24 Sounding out the City mode of response whilst having a private experiential world still in operation. The movement from private experience to appropriate social action is often achieved with difficulty. Users often describe having to switch off their personal stereos before responding adequately. Personal-stereo users like to construct familiar soundscapes to accompany them through their urban journeys.

Indeed personal stereos are sometimes used as a strategy to transcend the gendered nature of urban space thus potentially empowering women, enabling them to control space and vision more successfully. 28 Sounding out the City Equally, a subcultural use of personal stereos might focus upon specific types of music used in relation to fashion and social activities whereas a phenomenologically orientated interpretation situates interest in the mere fact that music is listened to in certain everyday situations.

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