AN News: “Anthropological Listening as a Genre” by Xochitl Marsilli-Vargas (UC Berkeley)

July 6, 2015 No Comments aaron Anthropology News Columns, SLA Section News

Linguistic anthropologists are accustomed to exploring the way speakers create structures of relevance that provide directionality to social activity. Could we also say the same for listeners? Listening has the potential to generate a specific context by listening “in a particular way;” for example, when a mechanic is deciphering the semantic meaning of the sounds of a broken car, when a psychoanalyst is listening emphatically to an analysand, or when a doctor is translating the sounds emitted from my body through auscultation. Just by turning the ear in a particular framework—what I call a genre of listening—the individual is transforming a