The chapter focuses on two processes: complaints brought to the press by residents since the 1910s and the city administration’s responses to those complaints. In order to establish an inventory of contentious urban sounds and examine the successive shifts in São Paulo’s acoustic environment, I went through roughly 1,510 stories in two newspapers that used the term “noise.” This allowed me to catalog the actors and sounds that led to dissent in São Paulo and the routes through which they became public problems. The chapter also considers how the municipal administration framed the problems and what solutions (if any) it proposed. This will reveal some of the “translation gaps” between complainants and administrations in the back-and-forth between public controversies and their proposed scientific, legal, and political solutions.
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