Sound Moves: iPod Culture and Urban Experience, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sound Moves

iPod Culture and Urban Experience, 1st Edition

By Michael Bull


196 pages

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pub: 2007-12-13
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This innovative study opens up a new area in sociological and urban studies: the aural experience of the social, mediated through mobile technologies of communication.

Whilst we live in a world dominated by visual epistemologies of urban experience, Michael Bull argues that it is not surprising that the Apple iPod, a sound based technology, is the first consumer cultural icon of the twenty-first century. This book, in using the example of the Apple iPod, investigates the way in which we use sound to construct key areas of our daily lives. The author argues that the Apple iPod acts as an urban Sherpa for many of its users and in doing so joins the mobile army of technologies that many of us habitually use to accompany our daily lives.

Through our use of such mobile and largely sound based devices, the book demonstrates how and why the spaces of the city are being transformed right in front of our ears.


"It will be of use to any student of the way consumer techonologies colonise our everyday lives." Rob Clowes

"Bull's meditation on the iPod has many merits" Rob Clowes

Michael Bull, aka Professor iPod or Dr. iPod, is a professor in media and film at England's University of Sussex who studies the cultural impact of digital music devices. He has spent the last three years interviewing more than 1,000 iPod owners in the United States and abroad for his new book - Wired News

Lecturer Dr. Michael Bull is "the world's leading -- perhaps only -- expert on the social impact of personal stereo devices," The New York Times.

"Bull (Univ. of Sussex, UK)--aka Professor iPod (per Wired magazine)--presents a sociological, scholarly view of the culture shifts resulting from the iPod…Recommended."

-- N.J. Johnson, Metropolitan State University, Choice

Table of Contents

1. Sound Moves, iPod Culture and Urban Experience: An Introduction 2. Sound Epistemologies: Strategies and Technologies 3. Sounding Out Cosmopolitanism: iPod Culture and Regognition 4. The Audio-Visual iPod: Aesthetics and the City 5. Interpersonal Sound Strategies and iPod Culture 6. Mobilization of the Social: Mobile Phones and iPods 7. Contextualizing the Senses: The Auditory World of Automobility 8. The Auditory Privatisation of the Workplace 9. Bergson's iPod?: The Cognitive Management of Everyday Life 10. The Nostalgia of iPod Culture 11. Sound Timings and iPod Culture 12. Endnote: Sound Mediations

About the Author

Michael Bull is Reader in Media and Film Studies at the University of Sussex.

About the Series

International Library of Sociology

The International Library of Sociology (ILS) is the most important series of books on sociology ever published. Founded in the 1940s by Karl Mannheim, the series became the forum for pioneering research and theory, marked by comparative approaches and the identification of new directions in sociology, publishing major figures in Anglo-American and European sociology, from Durkheim and Weber to Parsons and Gouldner, and from Ossowski and Klein to Jasanoff and Walby.

Its new editors, John Holmwood (University of Nottingham, UK) and Vineeta Sinha (National University of Singapore), plan to develop the series as a truly global project, reflecting new directions and contributions outside its traditional centres, and connecting with the original aim of the series to produce sociological knowledge that addresses pressing global social problems and supports democratic debate.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Urban