Soundscapes: Toward a sounded anthropology

Journal Article (Journal Article)

A generation of scholars in multiple disciplines has investigated sound in ways that are productive for anthropologists. We introduce the concept of soundscape as a modality for integrating this work into an anthropological approach. We trace its history as a response to the technological mediations and listening practices emergent in modernity and note its absence in the anthropological literature. We then trace the history of technology that gave rise to anthropological recording practices, film sound techniques, and experimental sound art, noting productive interweavings of these threads. After considering ethnographies that explore relationships between sound, personhood, aesthetics, history, and ideology, we question sound's supposed ephemerality as a reason for the discipline's inattention. We conclude with a call for an anthropology that more seriously engages with its own history as a sounded discipline and moves forward in ways that incorporate the social and cultural sounded world more fully. Copyright © 2010 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Samuels, DW; Meintjes, L; Ochoa, AM; Porcello, T

Published Date

  • October 21, 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 39 /

Start / End Page

  • 329 - 345

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0084-6570

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1146/annurev-anthro-022510-132230

Citation Source

  • Scopus