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Listening Publics The Politics and Experience of Listening in the Media Age



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Polity Pr
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Questions About This Book?

What version or edition is this?

This is the 1st edition with a publication date of 5/13/2013.

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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any CDs, lab manuals, study guides, etc.


In focusing on the practices, politics and ethics of listening, this wide-ranging book offers an important new perspective on questions of media audiences, publics and citizenship. Listening is central to modern communication, politics and experience, but is commonly overlooked and underestimated in a culture fascinated by the spectacle and the politics of voice. Listening Publics restores listening to media history and to theories of the public sphere. In so doing it opens up profound questions for our understanding of mediated experience, public participation and civic engagement. Taking a cross-national and interdisciplinary approach, the book explores how listening publics have been constituted in relation to successive media technologies from the invention of writing to the digital age. It asks how new practices of listening associated with sound and audiovisual media transform a public world forged in the age of print. Through detailed histories and sophisticated theoretical analysis, Listening Publics demonstrates the embodied and critical activity of listening to be a rich concept with which to rethink the practices, politics and ethics of media communication.

Author Biography

Kate Lacey is senior lecturer in media and cultural studies at the University of Sussex.

Table of Contents


Listening overlooked
Chapter 1 Listening in and listening out
Chapter 2 The modernisation of listening

Listening in the age of spectacle
Chapter 3 Listening in good faith: recording, representation and the real
Chapter 4 Listening amid the noise of modernity
Chapter 5 Listening live: the politics and experience of the radiogenic

Ways of listening
Chapter 6 The privatisation of the listening public
Chapter 7 The politics and practices of collective listening

Listening in the public sphere
Chapter 8 The public sphere as auditorium
Chapter 9 Media and the ethics of listening

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