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Representing the Sensory Home

Ethnographic Experience and Anthropological Hypermedia

Sarah Pink

Keywords: gender; home; hypermedia; methodology; the senses; visual anthropology

In this article I draw from my research about gender, identity, and the home, to discuss the visual and the other senses in ethnographic experience and anthropological representation. First, I discuss how visual ethnographic research might appreciate the sensory nature of experience. Seeing the home as both the context and subject of field- work, I shall introduce the idea of the ‘sensory home’. This refers to the home as a domain composed of different sensory elements (smell, touch, taste, vision, sound) that is simultaneously understood and created through the sensory experience and manipulation of these elements. I then explore how such visual and sensory research might best be represented as text that is conversant with mainstream anthropology. I shall suggest that while film and writing have both tackled this theme, hypermedia offers new possibilities that might bridge the gap between written and visual anthropology.

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