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Sensing the World

Sensing the World: An Anthropology of the Senses is a highly original and comprehensive overview of the anthropology and sociology of the body and the senses. Discussing each sense in turn - seeing, hearing, touch, smell, and taste - Le Breton has written a truly monumental work, vast in scope and deeply engaging in style. Among other pioneering moves, he gives equal attention to light and darkness, sound and silence, and his disputation of taste explores aspects of disgust and revulsion. Part phenomenological, part historical, this is above all a cultural account of perception, which returns the body and the senses to the center of social life. Le Breton is the leading authority on the anthropology of the body and the senses in French academia. With a repute comparable to the late Pierre Bourdieu, his 30+ books have been translated into numerous languages. This is the first of his works to be made available in English. This sensuously nuanced translation of La Saveur du monde is accompanied by a spicy preface from series editor David Howes, who introduces Le Breton's work to an English-speaking audience and highlights its implications for the disciplines of anthropology, sociology, and the cross-disciplinary field of sensory studies.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface: David Le Breton and the Sociality of Sensation David Howes Introduction 1. Sensing the World: An Anthropology of the Senses 2. From Seeing to Knowing: Sight, the Reflective Sense 3. Listening to the World: Hearing, the Sense of Understanding 4. Skin Deep: Touch, the Sense of Contact 5. Smelling and Feeling, the Self and the Other 6. Savouring the World: From Taste in Food to the Taste for Life 7. The Cuisine of Disgust Overture References Index

Promotional Information

Overview of the anthropology and sociology of the body and the senses, written by a leading authority on the subject: now finally available in English.

About the Author

David Le Breton is Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Strasbourg, France.


David Le Breton's sensory anthropology savors the world in the full multiplicity of embodied experience. From sharing (or not) mescaline rituals of healing in Peru to Jacob's misled touch of Isaac in the book of Genesis, from the history of sensory thought spanning Western culture from Plato to Merleau-Ponty and many more contemporary authors to the anatomy of sensory and moral disgust, Le Breton's book is a celebration of the senses and the importance of what sensory studies can reveal about them to the reader. * Richard Newhauser, Arizona State University, USA * Leaving no sensation unfelt, no sense ignored, this is a book to savour slowly but voraciously, an introduction to a relational approach to the sociology and anthropology of the senses which English speakers have deprived of for far too long. * Phillip Vannini, Royal Roads University, Canada * This is an important contribution to the English-language corpus of social science literature on the senses. The exciting and original contribution of this book lies in its discussion of disgust: the book as a whole promises to have a major contribution to debates across a range of different disciplines and sub-disciplines. * Jon P. Mitchell, University of Sussex, UK *

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