The sound wars: Silencing the working class soundscape of Smithfield

Linda O'Keeffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The concept of sounds associated with a social class is not new, Emily Thompson and Hillel Schwartz both present historical evidence of the segregation of communities because of the soundscapes they produced, from ancient Greece where noise was often linked with production, madness, and poverty, and was often used as a method for the segregation and suppression of certain groups, to New York City where anti noise campaigns, led by the upper classes, have fought historically for the suppression of unnecessary noise. However, contemporary classifications of noise as a quantifiable and verifiable phenomenon in cities have created what seems like an unambiguous and non-judgmental critique of sound pollution based on statistics. This suggests that we have progressed from the classification of loud sounds as associated with social classes to one connected to pollution.
In this paper I expand on a body of work conducted between 2009 and 2014, which examined the social construction of urban soundscapes in the Smithfield are of Dublin city, Ireland. The research was conducted with a group of participants, 84 teenagers and 5 older adults. These participants helped identify, through a series of research methods, concepts and ideas about the meaning of noise and sound and how certain sounds are often linked to social class.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-178
Number of pages31
JournalPolitiques de communication
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2018


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