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Senses

Rather than physical channels conveying information about the external world to the internal system of the individual mind, the senses are skills for embodied action and “avenues for the transmission of cultural values” (Classen 1997, 401). Studying the senses in culture and consumer culture requires abandoning the former, more common perspective, and embracing the latter. An understanding of the senses as active and reflexive modes of sensory communication (e.g., Finnegan 2002) is at the very core of what some have begun to call a sensual turn in the social sciences. Such sensual turn is marked by the following fundamental characteristics: (1) perception is shaped by cultural dynamics; (2) ideas on how many senses exist and which modes of embodied communication can be called a “sense” ...

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