Lunch seminar 'Policy annoyance'

01.02.2007

Dr. Christian Bröer wrote a PhD thesis entitled: Policy Annoyance - How policy discourses shape the experience of aircraft sound. 

In this thesis dr Bröer interprets noise annoyance from the perspective of political-sociology. Approaching noise annoyance in this way contributes to our understanding of a typical, modern, social problem. Air mobility is a symbol of modern life. It spans nearly the entire globe and has a highly localized impact where it touches the ground.
 
Air mobility is, at the same time, highly valued and intensely contested, with noise annoyance often being amajor part of conflicts that surround airports. It seems evident that increasing noise levels lead to increasing annoyance among airport neighbors.
 
However, noise annoyance research has consistently shown that sound pressure in and of itself does not sufficiently explain noise annoyance. People experience the same sound in different ways and it seems that in western countries the same sound is now experienced as more annoying than forty years ago. Moreover, differences in annoyance hardly correlate with income, education, age or sex. Instead, distrust, anxiety and the idea that one cannot control noise, increase annoyance, as survey research can show.
 
Citizens who distrust political authorities experience sound to be more annoying, which in turn strengthens distrust. Historically, it seems that political conflicts simultaneously bring forth the appreciation and disapproval of sound. In sum, our understanding of how annoyance comes about is insufficient and there is reason enough to consider whether political processes contribute to the perception of sound as a problem.
 
This lunch seminar will be held at the Ministry of Transport at the Plesmanweg 1-6 in The Hague from 12.00h until 13.30h.
 


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