Mechanical Sound: Technology, Culture, and Public Problems of Noise in the Twentieth Century

Product Details
MIT Press
Publish Date
6.9 X 9.0 X 0.7 inches | 1.3 pounds

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About the Author
Karin Bijsterveld is Professor of Science, Technology, and Modern Culture at the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Maastricht University, the Netherlands.
"Karin Bijsterveld's
"Karin Bijsterveld's "Mechanical Sound" is an extraordinary achievement, simultaneously an inquiry into our deepest assumptions about the sounds that surround us and an exemplar for future scholars of noise."--Jon Agar, Senior Lecturer in Science and Technology Studies, University College London
"Karin Bijsterveld is a pioneer in the new field of sound studies. In "Mechanical Sound" she traces the various national approaches toward dealing with the increasing problems posed by the new technological sounds of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Rich in insights from science studies, and with wonderful period photographs including teams of immaculately dressed British citizens judging aircraft noise in the 1950s, this book teases out the nuances of sound and its effects on why we as a society find it so hard to legislate effectively against noise."--Trevor Pinch, Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University
"Complaints about noise are as much a part of modern sound culture as noise itself, and yet we know little of the history of noise. Karin Bijsterveld's "Mechanical Sound" changes all that; it is unprecedented in topic and scope. At once episodic and ambitious, "Mechanical Sound" places noise as one of those 'modern problems' that reformers, legislators, and scholars have tried--unsuccessfully--to control. The book shows how decades of reform, measurement and regulation attempts have resulted in a melange of noise practices and expectations, rather than a fantasyland of peace and harmony. Bijsterveld provides a meaningful alternative to the pieties of noise criticism, whether they come from public health literature or soundscape artists. Because of its range and originality, "Mechanical Sound" will change the way scholars across the disciplines talk about 'noise' and 'silence'."--Jonathan Sterne, Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University, and author of "The