Theories and Methodology

  • Sophia MaalsenEmail author


The purpose of this chapter is to provide the theoretical and methodological background required for constructing a framework that accommodates the multibiographical sensibilities of sounds and their social lives. Part 1 outlines practices of materialising sound and the making of both property and personhood through this. Part 2 introduces the reader to the mixed-methodological toolbox that helps us to understand the social life of things.

Importantly, this methodology is suited to overcoming object/subject dualisms and therefore enables us to observe and ask questions regarding both the sound objects and people, in terms of how each influences the other’s biographical pathways. Consequently, we are given insight into how the self is produced with and through things, and how personhood is co-constituted by objects, and that such self-definitional processes work in similar ways for things. The social life of sound is about the biographies of people and music, and as such produces a sound which is not singular and isolated but multibiographical.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Architecture, Design and PlanningUniversity of SydneyCamperdownAustralia

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