Article ID: CBB613057542

Sound and the Korean Public: Sonic Citizenship in the Governance of Apartment Floor Noise Conflicts (2016)


Apartment floor noise is becoming a serious social problem in South Korea. Apartment floor noise conflicts arise from the disruption of neighbourhood community in Korean apartment complexes. To resolve the conflicts, the Korean government and apartment residents employ two modes of governance: technocratic and collaborative. These models of governance create legal and community standards of floor noise that constitute sonic citizenship—the status of residents as normal listeners with both the duty to reduce noise and the right to make noise. Using Sheila Jasanoff’s idea of ‘constitutive coproduction’, floor noise in the form of sonic knowledge is constitutively coproduced with sonic citizenship in the form of public knowledge. When apartment residents cannot bear normal sound, defined by the two modes of governance, they become abnormal listeners. If normal listeners cannot put up with the level of sound from upstairs, this sound becomes floor noise. Sonic knowledge is, therefore, vital to the construction of sonic citizenship. In technocratic governance, sonic citizenship emerges from the limits of endurance in governmental floor noise standards, based on results of an auditory perception test based on noise and vibration engineering. In collaborative governance, sonic citizenship results from voluntary agreements between apartment residents. Through such governances, governmental officials and apartment residents perceive a distinction between normal and abnormal residents or between normal and abnormal apartment life.

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Authors & Contributors
Bijsterveld, Karin
Kahn, Douglas
Hagood, Mack
Pinch, T. J.
Gonseth, Marc-Olivier
Coates, Peter A.
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
Environmental History
The Musical Quarterly
Journal of Social History
Perspectives on Science
Oxford University Press
Musée d'ethnographie
MIT Press
Mainz. Universität
Errant Bodies Press
University of Texas at Austin
Noise and noise abatement
Sound studies
Sound Recording Industry
Auditory perception
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
20th century, early
18th century
21st century
United States
New York (U.S.)
New York City (New York, U.S.)

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