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date: 24 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter analyzes the impact of the boombox on sonic mobility during the 1980s. It explains that the word “boombox” does not refer to a single monolithic object with a fixed meaning but is what philosophers call an “apparatus.” It discusses the evolution of the boombox and suggests that the many names it has accrued highlight the decentralized history of its emergence as a cultural text. This article also contends that the boombox ushered in a new sensibility with regard to the significance of having expensive electronic equipment in public and has influenced the development of new ideologies that served to balance the competing concerns of value versus safety.

Keywords: boombox, sonic mobility, apparatus, cultural text, new sensibility, electronic equipment, value, sound studies, hip-hop, urban

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