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Radio in the workplace: a liminal medium between work and leisure

Autor: Gra?yna Stachyra
Revista: Medical, Culture & Society Nº 37 (2
Link: http://mcs.sagepub.com/content/37/2/270.full.pdf+html

The article analyses the presence of radio in the workplace. Victor Turner’s work concerning the liminal sphere in social life provides the theoretical underpinning for examination of the specific features of radio communication in the context of the blurring boundary between work and leisure.

Radio appears the medium best suited to the workplace, on one hand creating an environment conducive to performing workplace duties, on the other allowing a break from the monotony of these tasks. Its aural character allows radio to accompany various kinds of activities for which either television or the Internet would be too intrusive. Thus, radio in the workplace becomes a liminal medium, suspended between the necessary (work) and the optional (entertainment).

The material analysed in this study comprises communication formulae found in the programmes of Polish popular radio stations: Radio Z?ote Przeboje, Radio Zet, Radio Eska and RMF Classic, recorded between June 2012 and February 2013. An analysis of messages aimed at this audience proves that despite the diversity of their formats, all of them target the workplace listener. Moreover, it is not music but the spoken word and dialogue which constitute the liminal sphere of the radio.