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Music and the Broadcast ExperiencePerformance, Production, and Audiences$
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Christina Baade and James A. Deaville

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199314706

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199314706.001.0001

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Incarcerated Music

Incarcerated Music

Broadcasting and the Tactics of Music Listening in Prison1

(p.309) Chapter 14 Incarcerated Music
Music and the Broadcast Experience

Christina L. Baade

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the role of broadcast radio and television as crucial sources of music for incarcerated people. It challenges the focus on “new” media as the primary means through which music is now consumed in North America, considering current realities of mass incarceration and the fact that US incarceration rates are the highest in the world. Working with the prison narrative of “Patrick,” an organic intellectual and Asian American punk musician, this chapter approaches music listening as a de Certeauian “tactic.” Policies that deny access to the Internet and MP3 players discipline and isolate prisoners; however, prisoners in turn make creative use of residual media and “old” music technologies. For Patrick, radio proved a powerful vehicle of temporary escape, while television music awards shows facilitated participation and community. Ultimately, this chapter argues that such music listening practices offer a chance, however transitory and contingent, for prisoners to assert their own subjectivities and reshape their lived environments.

Keywords:   de Certeauian, mass incarceration, MP3, MP3 players, radio, residual media, television

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