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Lecture | LUCL Sociolinguistics Series 2022/2023

Unconscious Listening: The Constitution of Genres of Listening in Buenos Aires

Friday 17 March 2023
Sociolinguistics & Discourse Studies Series
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden


This presentation analyzes the constitution of genres of listening through the ethnographic study of psychoanalytic listening in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where personal identities, conceptions of citizenship, and constructions of the political, are rooted less in the performativity associated with speaking than on a particular form of listening based on psychoanalysis. In Buenos Aires, this listening is social, produced by a collectivity of individuals, and performed in all sorts of interactions surpassing class, age, and gender classifications. While there have been many studies that identify how linguistic practices create and transform contexts, the idea that listening has the potential of generating and sustaining social relations has not been similarly explored. These “genres of listening” (Marsilli-Vargas 2022) differentially tune or guide the ear - and by extension eyes and bodies as well - to attend to some aspects of an utterance or sound while not attending to others; genres of listening thereby create contexts and frameworks of relevance that shape the listener's orientation at the moment of reception, thus shaping context and social identities. 

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