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July 18 , 2008

Senses and Citizenships

Embodying Political Life


What does disgust have to do with citizenship? How might pain and pleasure, movement, taste, sound and smell be configured as aspects of national belonging? Senses and Citizenships: Embodying Political Life examines the intersections between sensory phenomena and national and supra-national forms of belonging, introducing the new concept of sensory citizenship. Expanding upon contemporary understandings of the rights and duties of citizens, the volume presents anthropological investigations of the sensory aspects of participation in collectivities such as face-to-face communities, ethnic groups, nations and transnational entities. Rethinking relationships between ideology, aesthetics, affect and bodily experience, the authors reveal the multiple political effects of the senses. The book demonstrates how various elements of political life, including some of the most fundamental aspects of citizenship, rest not only upon our senses, but on their perceived naturalization. Vivid ethnographic examples of sensory citizenship in Europe, the United States, the Pacific, Asia and the Middle East explore themes such as sight in political constructions; smell and ethnic conflict; pain in the constitution of communities; national soundscapes; taste in national identities; movement, memory and emplacement.

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