Radio Fields:
Anthropology and Wireless Sound in the 21st Century

Edited by Lucas Bessire & Daniel Fisher

Radio is the most widespread electronic medium in the world today. As a form of technology that is both durable and relatively cheap, radio remains central to the everyday lives of billions of people around the globe. It is used as a call for prayer in Argentina and Appalachia, to organize political protest in Mexico and Libya, for wartime communication in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it resounds in shopping malls, waiting rooms, and classrooms. Yet despite its omnipresence, it remains the media form least studied by anthropologists.

Radio Fields identifies and consolidates an emerging anthropology of radio. It collects various ethnographic approaches to the diverse domains in which radio is imagined, deployed, and understood. Drawing on research from six continents, the volume demonstrates how the particular capacities and practices of radio provide singular insight into social worlds ranging from aboriginal Australia to urban Zambia. Together, the contributors address the technological remediation of cultural forms, perception and truth.