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A technology of their own: anti-mass sentiment and the high-end audio community

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
High-end audio hobbyism, or audiophilia, is a perplexing and often misunderstood culture with roots in the prehistory of audio recording technology. Certain audiophile characteristics, including an almost exclusively male constituency, elitist tendencies, and a privileging of knowledge, are as distinctive of audiophilia today as they were at its inception. It is the goal of this thesis to extract the origins of these traits and to explain how and why they have remained at the forefront of the culture despite, and sometimes as a consequence of, social and technological transformations. This project attempts to explain the origins of audiophilia while highlighting how the culture communicates, organizes, and defends itself against the perceived threats of feminization and massification. A discursive analysis of audiophile reactions to the introduction of digital audio is used as a case study to illustrate the intricate and often specious rationale of high-end audio culture.
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Copyright is held by the author.
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Member of collection
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