Sociology Pin-Up of the Week! by James Reed

In the bad old days, pre-1960s, a visit to the motor mechanic for a young lad, would lead to an expose to terrible sexist pin-ups that the grease monkeys would plaster over their workshops, oblivious to the sensitivities of delicate viewers. They, when challenged, would sing that the posters “hide a nasty stain that is lying there.”

Not that I would want to revive a bad tradition, but there should be a place made for intellectual pin-ups – statements of such profoundness that they become profane; statements that challenge language by squeezing words to death. Why, I would like to see contests from time-to-time, where gentle readers submitted their warriors of political correctness to do battle against each other, like in ancient Rome, or that TV show where geeks fought each other using weaponised robots.

To get the show on the road, here is my enter for this news cycle: Karla Berrens, “An Emotional Cartography of Resonance,” Emotion, Space and Society, vol. 20, 2016, pp. 75-81. In the abstract she says:

“When we consider the relationship with the urban soundscape, this aural ‘moment’ is intrinsically intertwined with the body as part of the making of place. How can attending to the making of place through sound unveil an emotional cartography or the city? This paper will address these questions by exploring the processes that bind sound, emotion and place together.
Elaborating on Nancy’s (2007) concept of listening as methexis (participation) and LaBelle’s (2010) idea of the moment of sound as a participatory event, this paper presents two extended vignettes taken from empirical research in London’s East End, which used interviews and audio walks to examine sensory engagements with everyday urban spaces. It distinguishes an approach to the production of place that integrates aural perception, affect and emotion. It concludes outlining the importance of being re-acquainted with our ensounded body in order to explore geography from the sentient body to generate a fluid cartography that evolves at the same speed the soundscape does, making an argument for the importance of an embodied listening while strengthening the affective and emotional aspects of the urban soundscape.”

The “ensounded body”? The “urban soundscape”? What are these people trying to do with my poor old Microsoft Word spell check? Mine just flashed “no more of this, please.” That is typical of much sociological/social science research. And you wonder why I want to close down the universities!



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Thursday, 20 June 2024

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