chapter  1
23 Pages

Coming to Our Senses

WithAlex Rhys-Taylor

Heartened by calls for social science engaging in a ‘democracy of the senses’, what follows feeds into an argument for a broadly multisensory set of research methods, analyses and representational practices. The nose’s capacity to sense the specific atmosphere of a given moment, alongside aroma’s tendency to tap straight into the body’s emotional mechanics, are also crucial to the role that the senses of smell and taste play in episodic memory. Methodologically speaking, the lack of recording devices ensures that the researcher ‘being there,’ and having all senses ‘switched on’ is an important aspect of a multisensory research, allying multisensory research primarily with ethnography. The senses are revealed as the cement binding social strata together, as well as the solvents evaporating the boundaries between hitherto distinct life worlds. The chapter also presents an overview on the key concepts discussed in this book.