The Senses in Self, Society, and Culture: A Sociology of the Senses (Hardback) book cover

The Senses in Self, Society, and Culture

A Sociology of the Senses

By Phillip Vannini, Dennis Waskul, Simon Gottschalk

© 2014 – Routledge

190 pages

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The Senses in Self, Society, and Culture is the definitive guide to the sociological and anthropological study of the senses. Vannini, Waskul, and Gottschalk provide a comprehensive map of the social and cultural significance of the senses that is woven in a thorough analytical review of classical, recent, and emerging scholarship and grounded in original empirical data that deepens the review and analysis. By bridging cultural/qualitative sociology and cultural/humanistic anthropology, The Senses in Self, Society, and Culture explicitly blurs boundaries that are particularly weak in this field due to the ethnographic scope of much research. Serving both the sociological and anthropological constituencies at once means bridging ethnographic traditions, cultural foci, and socioecological approaches to embodiment and sensuousness. The Senses in Self,Society, and Culture is intended to be a milestone in the social sciences’ somatic turn.


"Vannini (communication and culture, Royal Roads Univ., Canada), Waskul (sociology, Minnesota State Univ.), and Gottschalk (sociology, Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas) have produced a marvelous slim book outlining a sociology of the senses….Richly and evocatively written, this book will interest interdisciplinary scholars concerned with the body and somatics, senses, and sensuality. Summing Up: Highly recommended." CHOICE, J. L. Croissant, University of Arizona

Table of Contents

Selected Contents:Part 1: Understanding Sensory Studies. 1. Toward a Sociology of the Senses. 2 The Sensual Body. 3 Sensual Ritual and Performance. 4 Sensuous Scholarship. Part 2: Doing Sensory Research. 5. The Sensuous Self and Identity. 6. A Sense of Place, a Sense of Time. 7. The Sensory Order. 8. Media, Consumer, and Material Culture.

About the Authors

Phillip Vannini is Professor in the School of Communication and Culture at Royal Roads University, Victoria, Canada, and Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Public Ethnography. He is author and editor of eight books, including Understanding Society through Popular Music (with Joe Kotarba, 2006, Routledge), and Ferry Tales: An Ethnography of Mobilities, Place,and Time on Canada’s West Coast (2011, Routledge).

Dennis Waskul is Professor of sociology at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He is author of Self-Games and Body-Play (2003, Peter Lang), production editor for Symbolic Interaction, editor of net.seXXX (2004, Peter Lang), and co-editor of Body/Embodiment (2006, Ashgate). He has published numerous studies on the sociology of the body, senses, sexualities, and computer-mediated communications.

Simon Gottschalk is Associate Professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He was editor of Symbolic Interaction (2003–2007), and is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on self-environment relations, postmodern culture, social psychology, qualitative research, the mass media, and interaction in virtual environments.

About the Series

Sociology Re-Wired

This innovative series is for all readers interested in books that provide frameworks for making sense of the complexities of contemporary social life. Each of the books in this series uses a sociological lens to provide current critical and analytical perspectives on significant social issues, patterns and trends. The series consists of books that integrate the best ideas in sociological thought with an aim toward public education and engagement. These books are designed for use in the classroom as well as for scholars and socially curious general readers.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General