Sound Acts: Elocution, Somatic Work, and the Performance of Sonic Alignment
Sociology and Corrections
Drawing on reflection, nonparticipant and participant observation, and introspection this article examines the performative dimensions of sound, arguing that sounds of both the nonsemioticized and semioticized variety function as acts, not unlike speech acts. Through a layered text, the article offers analytical reflections and evocative writing focused on the exploration of acoustic environments such as movie theatres, airplanes, street music performances, residential neighborhoods, and more. An important material property of sound acts, elocution, is identified, conceptualized, and examined. Elocutionary sound acts are also examined as social dramas, insofar as they constitute a crisis-ensuing breach of what the authors refer to as the somatic order. The maintenance of, or alignment on, the rules prevalent within a defined somatic order is also examined and discussed. As a whole, the sensuous performative dynamics that sound acts and somatic alignment entail can be referred to as instances of somatic work.
Journal of Contemporary Ethnography
Phillip Vannini, Dennis Waskul, Simon Gottschalk, and Carol Rambo. 2010. "Sound Acts: Elocution, Somatic Work, and the Performance of Sonic Alignment." Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 39 (3): 328-353.
Publisher's Copyright and Source
Copyright © 2010 SAGE Publications. Article published by SAGE Publications in Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, volume 39, issue number 3, June 2010, pages 328-353. Available online on May 18, 2010: