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Nostalgia, Radio Listening and Everyday Life

  • Jo Tacchi


This paper investigates radio consumption and the role of nostalgia as a positive social practice. Examples to illustrate the uses of nostalgia and the role of radio in everyday life are drawn from anthropological fieldwork carried out in Bristol, a city in the south west of England. Radio consumption is shown to be a complex practice which in some cases can be seen to allow listeners to make links with the past and with memories, both real and imagined. Nostalgia as a positive social practice is used in various ways to link the past, both remembered and imagined, with the present and the future. Examples are presented that demonstrate how radio sound is used to enhance everyday lives and a sense of self. Such nostalgic practices, experienced through radio listening, are shown to supplement social life and aid the ongoing project of everyday identity creation.

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