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The Ringtone DialecticEconomy and Cultural Form$
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Sumanth Gopinath

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780262019156

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262019156.001.0001

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Ringtones and the Deskilling of Mobile-Musical Labor: A Preliminary Investigation

Ringtones and the Deskilling of Mobile-Musical Labor: A Preliminary Investigation

Chapter:
(p.57) 2 Ringtones and the Deskilling of Mobile-Musical Labor: A Preliminary Investigation
Source:
The Ringtone Dialectic
Author(s):

Sumanth Gopinath

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262019156.003.0002

The purpose of this chapter is to offer an account of the types of musical labor in the ringtone industry, and discrepancies in payment and prestige of its participants, and the work that musicians and employees did changed over time as technical transformations in the global micro-industry took place. As the chapter highlights, when ringtones changed from monophonic to polyphonic, a major increase in skilled ringtone labor was required, and this professionalised ringtone production, whereas the shift to sound file ringtones involved labor deskilling.

Keywords:   labor deskilling, micro-industry, monophonic ringtone, polyphonic ringtone, skilled labor

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