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In this panel we would like to ask about the role of the sense of taste in experiencing, representing and defining social and cultural transformations. How do changes in food taste impinge on memory, aesthetic sensibilities, moral attitudes, sense of community, social differentiation and identities?
Social, political and cultural changes on the macro-level scale are always accompanied by transformations in everyday life of people, the reorganization of their ways of thinking, their habituses, daily routines, and bodily sensations. Sensory experiences, although perceived as definitely individual, are always culturally formatted and equipped with specific meanings, emotions and values. Thirty years have passed since Paul Stoller's call for a more sensitive approach in anthropology. In what directions has the research and thinking about the role of the senses, their learning, representation and understanding in a culturally diverse and rapidly changing world been developing?
In this panel, we would like to investigate the changing sense of taste, understood as direct experience, cultural norm, and social code. We would like to ask about the role of changing tastes in shaping memories of the past and assessing the present times. How do taste changes challenge aesthetic sensibilities and moral attitudes? How can changes in eating practices actively influence the reorganization of basic social institutions? How do they take part in the transformations of family relations and intergenerational transmission? What are the new trends in food, how do they create and de-create different taste communities, enhance and impair social and cultural identities? How do distinctive functions of culinary tastes trigger changes in the dynamics of social differentiations and aspirations? And finally: what are the epistemological and methodological challenges of researching and analyzing the changing sense of taste?