Thematic Groups

TG07 Senses and Society

Established in 2011 

Recent social research on the senses has drawn attention to the manifold roles that the senses play in everyday life. Studies address the multifaceted ways through which sensorial analyses throw light on conceptions of social categories such as ethnicity, class, and gender, as well as the manner in which sensory experiences structure everyday life. This thematic group is an endeavour towards analysing both theoretically and empirically, how the senses work as socio-cultural phenomena in different societies or cultures.

Beginning with the premise that the senses afford a lens on the manner in which social life is organised, including how they shed light on power structures, social relationships and macro-micro interconnections, the goal of TG07 Senses and Society is to expand the literature and generate theoretical inquiry into the subtle interrelations of sensory experiences in shaping the social.


  • To carve out and broaden the parameters of sensory scholarship by inviting researchers working on variegated aspects of culture, power, gender and other dimensions of social life to critically address the social politics of the senses
  • To provide grounds for discussion and debate pertaining to analyses of the senses in both local and trans-national settings and cultures
  • To expand upon extant sensory studies beyond research conducted in Euro-American contexts, with non-industrial communities, or through historical inquiry, so as to locate how the senses function in a plurality of social settings, both in historical and contemporary dimensions
  • To explore and deliberate upon embodied forms of research and fieldwork that incorporates both the senses of the researcher and the researched, and to consider how sensory experiences may be articulated through different media of data presentation and analyses
  • To interrogate conceptual debates in social scientific projects that have to do with analysing how senses and society avail further theorising on larger-scale social processes of globalisation, migration and transnationalism, and the flows of peoples, lifestyles, and circulation of ideas, habits, and goods through different arenas of everyday life
  • To critically consider the underpinnings of sensory relations, power/knowledge structures and political maneuverings vis-à-vis policy-making, ecological concerns, urban redevelopment and cross-cultural encounters in varying milieus
  • To explore possibilities of inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary investigations of sensory experiences.

To realize these objectives TG07 will

  • Convene meetings, workshops and seminars in which scholars can develop discussions and collaborations in their various research endeavours
  • Publish and circulate a TG07 newsletter to disseminate information on planned activities, latest publications on the senses, and raise attention to opportunities for collaboration among members and other academics
  • Publish edited volumes and/or journal special issues of papers arising from various activities as listed above
  • Review and develop modules related to sensory studies as a branch of the discipline of sociology
  • Establish contacts and develop collaborations with research institutes and fellowship programs based upon sensory analyses.

More information

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Board 2023 - 2027

President Mark W.D. PATERSON, University of Pittsburgh, USA,
Vice-President Noorman ABDULLAH, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Secretary/Treasurer Sneha ANNAVARAPU, National University of Singapore, Singapore,
Online Communication Manager Federico LA BRUNA, University of Milano, Italy,
Board Members Clara CIRDAN, London School of Economics, United Kingdom
Jean DURUZ, University of South Australia, Australia
Catherine EARL, RMIT Vietnam, Vietnam
Emma FELTON, University of South Australia, Australia
Sarah MASLEN, University of Canberra, Australia
Kelvin LOW, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Program Coordinators for V ISA Forum of Sociology 2025 are:


2024 Issue 25    
2023 Issue 22 Issue 23 Issue 24
2022 Issue 20 Issue 21  
2021 Issue 19    
2020 Issue 18    
2019 Issue 16 Issue 17  
2018 Issue 14 Issue15  
2017 Issue 12 Issue 13  
2016 Issue 10 Issue 11  
2015 Issue 8 Issue 9  
2014 Issue 6 Issue 7  
2013 Issue 4 Issue 5  
2012 Issue 3    
2011 Issue 1 Issue 2  


Dues: USD 20 (USD 10 Discount) for a 4-year period.
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To contact the group about upcoming events, publications, and items of interest, please email