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This entry describes the diverse meanings of noise—both in sound studies and everyday social interpretations—that emerge from the divergences and overlaps between technological environments, art movements, and circulations of social difference. Noise is an essential product of communicational networks, a quality of musical aesthetics, an excessive term of affect and identity, and a key metaphor for the incommensurable paradoxes of modern global culture. The essay concludes with an example from the author’s ethnographic research with a day laborer community in Osaka, Japan, whose karaoke song parties are categorized as noise and suppressed under city ordinances; this action leads to “sound demo” protests that bring a different kind of noise into the streets. Noise is shown to be an antisubject of culture, which, in its mutable oppositional character, raises questions about the normative staging of human expression, socialization, individual subjectivity, and political control.

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