Radio sound as material culture in the home
This thesis is an anthropological exploration of the contemporary role and use of radio sound in the home in Bristol, a city in the south west of England. Based on qualitative research, and taking an ethnographic approach, this study contributes to a growing field within social anthropology: the study of mass media. After establishing the ways in which the radio industry in the UK researches and constructs radio audiences, this thesis examines how academic research on audiences has operated in Britain. It is demonstrated how this thesis relates to, and is different from both of these perspectives. Radio sound is approached as a part of the material culture of the home. It is seen to contribute to domestic soundscapes. The medium of sound is investigated, and it is shown that radio sound has particular qualities that make it well suited to domestic, everyday life. It is revealed as aiding in the creative constitution of affective dimensions of the self in society. Domestic relationships, and the role of radio sound and affect are explored. Notions of intimacy and the role of fantasy in domestic relationships are investigated. Radio sound's role in mood creation for individuals in the home is then examined, and the notion of affective rhythms established. Radio sound's connecting powers are then given some attention; how radio sound helps to make links across time and space. Memories and nostalgia are shown to operate in creative and integrated ways in domestic contexts through the medium of sound. Finally, it is concluded that cultural knowledge and experience take place in large part in the sensory and affective dimensions of everyday life.