Sensory Ethnography Essay

2034 Words9 Pages
Home is experienced in a multitude of ways using our senses. Impressions of our past and present homes materialize from a familiar smell, sight, feeling, taste or sound. We all live in a multi-sensory environment, where we can use one or more of our senses on a daily basis to absorb our surroundings. However, it is easily arguable that although each sense can conjure up a memory, or imprint a grasp of where we live or lived, certain senses are stronger with the recollection or the feelings we have of our home. If we live in the same home as other people, some of us will associate a certain smell to the home, while others will not; or a sound, etc., that I would not associate with that home. I will be pursuing the reasons why we absorb our environments…show more content…
Every person uses their senses to experience their environment differently. It could be because of social and human agencies that influence how they can utilize their senses in a particular way, or it could be how their own personalized hierarchy of senses differs their perceptions in a multi-sensory situation. I want to start by defining what sensory ethnography is, as per Sarah Pink 's explanation found in the beginning chapter of her book "Sensory Ethnography". Pink describes it as an "ethnography to explicitly account for the senses" (Pink 2015 p. 7). It takes the traditional ethnographic approaches used by anthropologists such as participating, living, and qualitative examination and creates a "re-thought ethnography as gendered embodied, and more ... [i]n doing so it draws from the theories of human perception and…show more content…
I found that three out of five senses were difficult for me to go into detail about, and only two had strong connections to memories: smell, and taste. When writing about my present home, my ocular and auditory senses were easiest to research, while the others could not be easily connected. For touch, I couldn 't use present or past, and so I had to consider instead how touch is associated with what I think of my future. While I discussed my findings with the people I share my home with, as well as family I used to live with, my findings were completely different compared to their ideas. We all live(d) in the same environment, and experience roughly the same things at home, and yet, we all associated different things. Diego, my fiancé, who I share the house with along with his mother and sister, said that home sounded like his mom doing dishes. His mother said her home sounded like the creaking of an old house. I, on the other hand, recorded that the home sounded like screaming children from the daycare in the basement. I also compared my findings with my mum when looking at the past. I said that memories of home smelled like Christmas. She could not think of a scent, but disagreed that our home smelled like Christmas. We both agreed that the taste of tea was easily associated with home,
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