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Noise in Action: The Sonic (De)Construction of Art Worlds
Studies in Symbolic Interaction, edited by Norman K. Denzin (2010)
  • Carey L Sargent, Occidental College
This paper investigates the meaning of sound in social life through participant observation of Experimental Improv and Noise (EIN) collectives in Virginia, United States. Employing a blend of interactionism and musical sociology, this paper is attentive to the sonic practices of EIN, examining how participants construct shared meanings about abstract, or even anti-musical, sounds. The ability to construct shared meanings with nonpractitioners shapes the art world of EIN and has relevance for the resources available to EIN. In this way, I show how sonic practices are involved in the formation of the collaborative networks that undergird art worlds. I argue that the creation of shared meanings in interaction can generate new organizational forms as musicians build their own scenes and audiences in the digital age.
  • cultural sociology,
  • art worlds,
  • sociology of music,
  • subculture,
  • sound studies,
  • symbolic interaction
Publication Date
Citation Information
Carey L Sargent. "Noise in Action: The Sonic (De)Construction of Art Worlds" Studies in Symbolic Interaction, edited by Norman K. Denzin Vol. 35 (2010)
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