© 2012

Music, Radio and the Public Sphere

The Aesthetics of Democracy


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Introduction: The Unknown and the Unheard

    1. Charles Fairchild
      Pages 1-14
  3. Enforcing and Evading Rationalization

  4. Making Radio, Making Meaning

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 103-103
    2. Charles Fairchild
      Pages 105-141
    3. Charles Fairchild
      Pages 142-164
    4. Charles Fairchild
      Pages 165-199
    5. Charles Fairchild
      Pages 200-204
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 205-225

About this book


Radio, the most widely used medium in the world, is a dominant mediator of musical meaning. Through a combination of critical analysis, interdisciplinary theory and ethnographic writing about community radio, this book provides a novel theorization of democratic aesthetics, with important implications for the study of old and new media alike.


aesthetics democracy media New Media radio Sound

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of SydneyAustralia

About the authors

CHARLES FAIRCHILD Senior Lecturer in Popular Music, University of Sydney, Australia. He is the author of Pop Idols and Pirates (2008) and Community Radio and Public Culture (2001). He has published articles in journals such as Popular Music, Media, Culture & Society and Television and New Media.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking


'This monograph offers a theoretical intervention into and a detailed analysis of the democratic space opened by community radio against the backdrop of commercialism and corporate power typically associated with the music and radio industries. As the author explains, a scathing critique of the commercial music and radio systems alone would not reveal the democratic potential of these popular forms, and the book's attention to the democratic aesthetics of community radio addresses this critical question persuasively.' - Bethany Klein, University of Leeds, UK