Learning relationships and the entanglement of sound and noise

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This essay will look at how sound as noise is entangled with other bodies in the formation and maintenance of relationships amongst adults and young people in non-formal learning environments. It considers relationships between people as intra-active, material-discursive practices and in doing so pays attention to affect and materiality. One aspect of the practices that is often overlooked in education research is the ubiquity of sound in shaping daily life (Born, 2013). As noise, it does not merely fill space but can radically affect its constitution (Ouzounian, 2013) therefore how it affects learning relationships is worthy of attention. Using the concept of attunement as both an embodied and preconscious affect (Brigstocke & Noorani, 2016), I consider noise as agentive within the learning relationships, transgressing boundaries (Haraway, 2016a) and disrupting futures. An active attunement to noise, as a manifestation of both sound and the environment entangled within phenomena, offers insights into how relationships are ‘done’, enlightening his/her-stories in learning and the potentiality of what is next. I explore concepts such as ‘shimmer’ (Rose, 2017) to illuminate noise as sensation and hapticality (Harney & Moten, 2013) with consideration to othering and togetherness. In attuning to noise this opens up the world to a becoming in which we acknowledge that relationships between people and the subsequent learning are not simply a human directed effort.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-138
Number of pages11
JournalCultural and Pedagogical Inquiry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2022


  • Sounds, noise, relationships, learning, affect, attunement

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