Laura Yaníz Estrada Vivas 1105771 Jorge Enrique Tirzo Morales 1105821 Discourse Analysis Profr.

Miguel Ángel Nájera Précis: The Production of the Sony Walkman The book Doing Cultural Studies: the story of the Sony Walkman written by Paul du Gay, Stuart Hall, Linda Janes, Hugh Mackay and Keith Negus analyzes the Sony Walkman from a cultural studies perspective. It articulates the sociocultural phenomenon around Sony Walkman studying the circuit of culture divided in Production, Consumption, Regulation, Representation and Identity. The chapter “The production of the Sony Walkman” studies all the factors involved in the production of this music player assuming that in order to understand the production of the Sony Walkman, is necessary to analyze the narratives and representation of the “facts” related to the origins of the product. Based on Marxian assumptions, the authors say that production and consumption are close related because they over determine each other. It makes cultural production nondependant exclusively of individual geniality, but of a whole set of changes in a culture. This process occurs because between production and consumption exist an “intermediary movement” that articulates these two moments. In that movement, the design plays a very important role because it over determines the effect of the product in the consumer and the feedback from the consumer to the producer. That’s why the cultural production is related with the organizational culture and the outsides perceptions. The chapter begins talking about the different versions about the origin of Sony Walkman. It compiles different declarations about who is the real “father” of the concept. As a matter of facts, there are many versions involving many persons, but it concludes reviewing the case in which a court concluded that the concept of the Sony Walkman was too broad to have one single creator. After that, the authors make an historical analysis of Sony and Akio Morita (Sony’s founder) using a documental research. It goes beyond a biographical narrative because it includes an analysis of the sociocultural context of Japan and USA. In order to prove the hybrid personality of Sony, the author contrasts Sony’s politics against Typical Japanese Enterprises’ characteristics. It concludes that Sony has an hybrid culture of production mixing American and Japanese ways of production. As a consequence, Sony Walkman was invented inside a complex process involving individual inspiration, organizational culture and historical situation. At the end of the reading, the author assumes the Marx’s perspective in which the production and the consumptions are the same thing. Using the example of the headphone jack sockets, the reading proves that the production over determined the consumption habits, while the consumers over determined the redesign of the product by changing the consumption habits. It is an example in which the imagined consumer didn’t correspond to the real consumer. That’s why the consumer feedback modified the design of the Sony Walkman. Strengthens an Weaknesses of the approach The chapter explains the complete process and transition of the Sony Walkman like a cultural product. It goes beyond the inspiration-focused approaches describing the

cultural process as a whole. Even though, it is an extremely historical reading and for moments it looses the cultural studies approaching. The methodology used is an cultural analysis based in a historical contrast between texts and processes around the representations of the origins of Sony Walkman. The authors use cites from Narayan and Katz (1993) to argue that the Sony Walkman’s concept is too broad to be a single mind creation, contrasted with cites from Akio Morita (1987) who present the music player almost as his invention, closely related to his own biography. The historical analysis also cites Sony (1989) in order to compare its characteristics with those of a typical Japanese enterprise. At the same time, Schlender (1992) is used to describe the hierarchical structure of Sony. In the cultural analysis of the production process, the authors cite Karl Marx (1980/1857-8) to argue that consumption and production are the same thing, only separated in order to articulate a more detailed analysis.

References Doing Cultural Studies: the story of the Sony Walkman Paul du Gay, Stuart Hall, Linda Janes, Hugh Mackay and Keith Negus The production of the Sony walkman (p. 42-59)

1.- Theoretical and methodological approach The development of the Walkman is an example of the development of a cultural product. 2.-Object of study Factors involved in the production of Sony Walkman 3.- Epistemological assumptions In order to understand the production of the Sony Walkman, is necessary to analyze the narratives and representation of the “facts” related to the origins of the product 4.- Main theories Production and consumption are close related because they over determine each other. Cultural production doesn’t depend exclusively of individual geniality, but of a whole set of changes in a culture. Between production and consumption occurs an “intermediary movement” that articulates these two moments. (design) The cultural production is related with the organizational culture and the outsides perceptions. 5.- Research questions Which where the elements that allow the changes in the cultural production of the Sony ´s Walkman? How are the production and the consumption related? 6.- Main methodologies Documental research Historical analysis Textual analysis 7.- Major conclusions Sony is an hybrid enterprise: A mix of both cultural production Japanese and USA Sony Walkman was invented inside a complex process involving individual inspiration, organizational culture and historical situation. 8.- Strenght of this approach It explains the completely the process and transition of the Sony’s walkman like a cultural product. It goes beyond the inspiration-focused approaches describing the cultural process as a whole. 9.- Weakness of this approach Extremely Historical, for a moment it looses the cultural studies focus 10.- 5 most cited authors -Narayan and Katz, 1993 - Morita et al, 1987 -Marx, 1980/1857-8 -Schlender, 1992 -Sony, 1989