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Abstract

This review makes the case for anthropological reflection on the intersection of food and the senses. Given that a focus on food and the senses allows us to explore some of the most basic boundaries of inside and outside, private and public, individual and collective, this topic offers an excellent window onto that elusive notion of everyday life that anthropologists wish to understand theoretically and examine ethnographically. At the same time, food is a key component of ritual, which has typically been understood as heightening or stimulating sensory experience to instill social or cosmological values. Food and the senses overlap in notions of taste as distinction and in an increasing recognition of the culturally cultivated phenomenon of synesthesia. Furthermore, in making food and the senses central to understanding wider social issues, this review argues for the productivity of a concept of “gustemology” in opening up new realms of ethnographic and theoretical inquiry.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.anthro.012809.104957
2010-10-21
2024-06-17
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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.anthro.012809.104957
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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