This panel draws attention to sensory ethnography and experiential research in places of care, focusing on embodied relationships among communities, ideologies, and the materiality of care environments.
This panel aims to draw attention to the 'sensorial turn' in the social sciences. Embodied experiences of health and illness continue to intrigue scholars, yet ethnography's reliance on spoken or written accounts can limit researchers' analytic scope. Ethnographic methods require creative forms of embodied immersion in the field. Multiple ways of knowing and the reflexive exploration of routes to knowledge are necessary to approach the experience that is felt, yet is unspoken or unspeakable. Sarah Pink (2015) proposed the practice of sensory ethnography as a way to approach and harness the phenomenological complexities of ethnographer and informant experiences in the field, and to disseminate this knowledge to audiences through creative, often arts-based modes of presentation. This panel seeks to draw attention to experiential research carried out in places of care, focusing on embodied relationships among communities, ideologies, and the materiality of the care environment. We welcome contributions from researchers working at the theoretical and methodological intersections of embodied experience of health and illness, places and practices of care, and ethnography. Among the questions we would like to consider are: How do ethnographers negotiate the dominance of spoken and written narratives from informants and take into account that which is unsaid? What is the significance of sensorial memory in ethnographic fieldwork, writing, and presentation? How might multisensory research be interpreted and presented to audiences in a meaningful way?