Radio Fields

Radio Fields : Anthropology and Wireless Sound in the 21st Century

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Radio is the most widespread electronic medium in the world today. As a form of technology that is both durable and relatively cheap, radio remains central to the everyday lives of billions of people around the globe. It is used as a call for prayer in Argentina and Appalachia, to organize political protest in Mexico and Libya, and for wartime communication in Iraq and Afghanistan. In urban centers it is played constantly in shopping malls, waiting rooms, and classrooms. Yet despite its omnipresence, it remains the media form least studied by anthropologists. Radio Fields employs ethnographic methods to reveal the diverse domains in which radio is imagined, deployed, and understood. Drawing on research from six continents, the volume demonstrates how the particular capacities and practices of radio provide singular insight into diverse social worlds, ranging from aboriginal Australia to urban Zambia. Together, the contributors address how radio creates distinct possibilities for rethinking such fundamental concepts as culture, communication, community, and collective more

Product details

  • Electronic book text | 298 pages
  • 152 x 229mm
  • New York University Press
  • New York, United States
  • 0814745369
  • 9780814745366

Review quote

"Radio fields has been recognized as a stimulating subject of research by a handful of interdisciplinary and regionally focused volumes, but Radio Fields represents a concentrated effort to insert an anthropological voice into their discussions...Radio Fields is poised to inspire further research."-Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute "Its potential for creating renewed interest and research on radio's relationship with culture and social change has been carefully cultivated, and that may ultimately be a much more significant achievement."-Peter Hart-Brinson, Mobilization "In a series of striking case studies, Radio Fields reveals the vibrancy and diversity of wireless technologies across an enormous geographic range. From radio that constitutes the nation to the pirate, religious, indigenous and `free' radio that provide alternatives to it, the essays draw out the breadth of contemporary radio practices. Mixing together technological analyses of voice, liveness, and immediacy with their political effects, the volume shows how radio is felt as well as heard, and brings out the entanglements of audition, religion, technology, and politics that makes up the social life of radio around the world."-Brian Larkin,Barnard College, Columbia University "Radio Fields crackles and buzzes with the social life of radio and the noise of an anthropology of close listening. I can't imagine a more well-theorized and deeply grounded entree to the sensory mediation politics of radiophony in global public culture."-Steven Feld,Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Music, University of New Mexicoshow more

Table of contents

Acknowledgments 1 Introduction Lucas Bessire and Daniel Fisher 2 Aurality under Democracy Laura Kunreuther 3 From the Studio to the Street Daniel Fisher 4 Editing the Nation Danny Kaplan 5 Reconsidering Muslim Authority Dorothea Schulz 6 Community and Indigenous Radio in Oaxaca Lynn Stephen 7 The Cultural Politics of Radio Melinda Hinkson 8 Frequencies of Transgression Jeffrey S. Juris 9 "Foreign Voices" Kira Kosnick 10 "We Go Above" Lucas Bessire 11 Appalachian Radio Prayers Anderson Blanton 12 Radio in the (i)Home Jo Tacchi 13 "A House of Wires upon Wires" Debra Vidali-Spitulnik Radio Fields Faye Ginsburg About the Contributors Indexshow more

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