sociology of the senses: understanding people and society through the senses

Saranya Tarat


  • สรัญญา เตรัตน์ postgraduate student, Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology (Social Research), Thammasat University


This article reviews the background, conceptual frameworks, and methods in the field of sociology of the senses. Sociology of the senses, unlike scientific approaches such as neurology and psychology, does not consider senses as automatic physiological or psychological responses. On the contrary, it describes the senses in terms of its social construction and social role. Senses have long been embedded in social meaning and social values. The perception through senses is reified through cultural interpretation and sensory experience. Hence, sensory practices are ways of cultural expression. Furthermore, sensory experiences indicate the understanding of people towards the social world. Approaching the senses from this sociological perspective has broadened social science research methods by integrating and mediating the senses in our understanding of people lives, society, and culture.