More-Than-Representational Geographies of Sound and Music
Edited by Karolina Doughty, Michelle Duffy and Theresa Harada
Chapter 3: Exploring inclusive therapeutic soundscapes
Whilst the majority of research in the field of acoustics has sought to explore the detrimental effects of noisy environments on people’s health, the geographic literature on sound has begun to take a more holistic approach by considering how environmental sounds affect people in different ways. Reflecting on findings from visual ethnographic research, this chapter explores the soundscape experiences of people with intellectual disabilities engaged in community farming projects for health and wellbeing. We argue that these experiences could be alluring or repelling, therapeutic or harmful depending on the meanings that people attached to them. We compare the soundscapes of the farm environment with other spaces and places that participants inhabit and argue that genuinely inclusive environments may be those that seek to facilitate (rather than repress or judge) the various auditory needs and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. This reveals how different soundscapes are shaped by relations of power, and influence judgements of sonic intrusion or harmony.
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