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Age of noise - British drinking

Sociological discussion programme. Laurie Taylor considers how unwanted sounds came to characterise modernity. Also, the excesses of British drinking.

The 'age of noise': How a preoccupation with unwanted sounds came to characterise modernity. The 20th century saw the expansion of cities and technological change. The sounds of motor cars, vacuum cleaners and gramaphones filled the air, leading social commentators to forecast the end of civilisation and a breakdown in mental health. Did noise provide people with a way of talking about their social anxieties? Does it still serve this function today? Laurie Taylor talks to James Mansell, Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham and Marie Thompson, Lecturer in the School of Film and Media at the University of Lincoln.
British drinking and the night time carnival. William Haydock, Visiting Fellow in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences at the University of Bournemouth, argues that our alcohol consumption is peculiarly 'carnivalesque', combining ritual with risk taking and spectacle.
Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Available now

28 minutes


William Haydock at the University of Bournemouth 

James Mansell at the University of Nottingham

Marie Thompson at the University of Lincoln


James Mansell, The Age of Noise in Britain: Hearing Modernity (University of Illinois Press, 2017)

Haydock, W., 2016.  The Consumption, Production and Regulation of Alcohol in the UK: The Relevance of the Ambivalence of the Carnivalesque. Sociology journal, 50 (6), 1056-1071

Marie Thompson, Beyond Unwanted Sounds: Noise, Affect and Aesthetic Moralism (forthcoming with Bloomsbury, February 2017)


  • Wed 18 Jan 2017 16:00
  • Mon 23 Jan 2017 00:15

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