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Radio FieldsAnthropology and Wireless Sound in the 21st Century$
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Lucas Bessire and Daniel Fisher

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814771679

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814771679.001.0001

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“A House of Wires upon Wires”

“A House of Wires upon Wires”

Sensuous and Linguistic Entanglements of Evidence and Epistemologies in the Study of Radio Culture

(p.250) 13 “A House of Wires upon Wires”
Radio Fields

Debra Vidali-Spitulnik

NYU Press

This chapter examines the relationship between language and perception in order to elucidate the nature of radio culture. Using linguistic evidence, it locates radio within a range of arenas that are “tangential to the immediate moments of media production and media reception” and considers the influence of how radio technology and mediated talk on local ways of perceiving modernity. To support this argument, the chapter describes nouns and verbs for radio broadcasting from the Bemba language of Zambia. It shows how different orders of linguistic data, such as nicknames for radio personalities, circulating radio phrases, and word choices of radio listeners, provide important arenas for understanding the entanglements of meanings and experiences within sonic cultures and ways-of-hearing.

Keywords:   language, perception, radio culture, media production, media reception, radio technology, radio broadcasting, Bemba language, Zambia

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