Sounds of Another Home: Telepresence, COVID-19 and a Bioscience Laboratory in Transition (2021)

Rebecca Carlson

About this exposition

Based on an ethnography of a bioscience laboratory in Tokyo before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, this paper focuses on telepresence, and the growing demand for workers to maintain extended simultaneous presence in multiple electronic, or electronically augmented, spaces. In contrast to views promoting the liberating affordances of telework in the maintenance of healthy work-life balance (reduced commute time; increased “presence” in family life), an analysis of sound reveals the way the home becomes reorganized, and ultimately de-prioritized, under work demands. In particular, online meetings, which privilege discrete information exchange, position the home as a barrier to productive communications. Receding the soundscape of the home in this way reflects a normalization of the neoliberal imperative to find self-realization in workplace forms of sociality.
typeresearch exposition
keywordssound, home, telepresence, COVID-19, bioscience, neoliberalism
last modified21/05/2021
share statusprivate
licenseCC BY-NC-ND
published inJournal of Sonic Studies
portal issue21. Issue 21

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