Non-musical and non-linguistic sounds are abundant in every society: whenever and wherever there is society, there is sound. Despite this, besides research on spoken language and communication, sounds have not yet played a significant role in sociological ethnography. Maybe they never will, but perhaps they should. Sounds provide inspiring and intriguing material for ethnographic research on many aspects of social order.The data in this exemplar, provided by Professor Christoph Maeder from the University of Teacher Education in Zurich, are both simple and complex. The two audio recordings of short sound-strips of bells form the downloadable data. Also included in the text below are technical visual representations of the recordings, as well as photographs of the scenes in which they were taken. Together, they create an "audio sphere" or "soundscape". A soundscape is an analogy to landscape: a spatially located acoustic environment like a square in a city, a place by the river, a classroom or even a radio broadcast (Schafer 1993, 7ff). In this dataset, the soundscapes include meadows and pastures in the middle and high lands of the Alps. The dataset and analysis will show how you can discover social phenomena by the observation of soundscapes. You will furthermore see how these tiny bits of data about "bells" can be linked to grand, overarching sociological concepts, and inspire further aspects and dimensions in ethnographic inquiry. The proficiency of generalising "up" or bringing things together by using so-called "dirty" ethnographic data is helpful in order to make sense of the dispersed and particular ethnographic observations one collects in any field site. The dataset will be of most interest to those collecting idiosyncratic data, especially those who have collected both audio and visual data. For context, it is strongly advised that you read the narrative of this dataset first, before downloading the audio data
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