Home > Catalogue > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale > Supplemento 59 | 2023 > The Panaural People’s Republic: Loudness, Loss of Self, and Sonic Social Control in Mao’s China
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The Panaural People’s Republic: Loudness, Loss of Self, and Sonic Social Control in Mao’s China

Joseph Lovell    University of California, Santa Barbara    

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abstract

Perspectives on the establishment of social control have long been shaped by theories concerning visibility and observation, such as Foucault’s concept of the Panopticon. In Mao era China, however, sound and hearing had a greater impact on citizens becoming self-disciplined. Reflecting on a variety of sources, with a particular focus on memoirs, this article details how the Mao era soundscape helped to fashion a new form of disciplinary society. This disciplinary society was chaotic, however, and sites of resistance remained, in which some individuals fought to retain their sense of self, even amid all the tumult and violence.

Published
Dec. 1, 2023
Accepted
Jan. 28, 2023
Submitted
Nov. 24, 2022
Language
EN

Keywords: LoudspeakerNoiseChinaSoundscapeRadioSound

Copyright: © 2023 Joseph Lovell. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.