Psychology, Social Psychology

Listening Network: Cultures of Listening in Research and Practice

In recent years the idea/concept of listening has begun to feature prominently at the intersection of social sciences, arts and humanities based research. At the same time theorising has remained disparate and exciting synergies between work in different disciplines, and its relevance to for example political- social-, legal- and research practice, have not been explored systematically.

A new Open University website, from our Johanna Motzkau and others, offers a meeting point to facilitate such exploration by bringing together a growing network of researchers and practitioners from interdisciplinary backgrounds, including Art, Childhood Studies, Law, Education, Sociology, Geography, Social Work, Critical Theory, Literary Studies, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Politics, Music, Critical-, Social-, and Forensic Psychology.

The aim of this network is to link academics and practitioners from different disciplines and professional backgrounds who share an interest in listening, including:

  • experiences and circumstances of listening
  • listening as empowerment or exclusion
  • listening as active and risky
  • theories of listening
  • discourses and practices of listening
  • subversive and oppressive potentials of listening as a concept and/or practice
  • innovative creative methodologies to research and negotiate listening

The term ‘Cultures of Listening’ (Motzkau & Lesnik-Oberstein in prep) captures the idea that listening is more than the exposure to, or taking in of, auditory information/signals; rather listening implies and demands continuous selection, ordering and interpretation; decisions on what to do with what is heard, e.g. how to act on it, record or share it; instant consideration (implicit or explicit) of risks and consequences (as anticipated and experienced) associated with what we do with what we hear. Read more…


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