The Sensorium at Work: The Sensory Phenomenology of the Working Body

  • John Hockey, Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson
  • The Sociological Review, May 2009, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-954x.2009.01827.x

The senses and the body at work

Photo by eggy gouztam on Unsplash

Photo by eggy gouztam on Unsplash

What is it about?

The sociology of the body and the sociology of work and occupations have both neglected to some extent the study of the ‘working body’ in paid employment, particularly with regard to empirical research into the sensory aspects of working practices. This gap is perhaps surprising given how strongly the sensory dimension features in much of working life. This article is very much a first step in calling for a more phenomenological, embodied and ‘fleshy’ perspective on the body in employment, and examines some of the theoretical and conceptual resources available to researchers wishing to focus on the lived working-body experiences of the sensorium. We also consider some possible representational forms for a more evocative, phenomenologically-inspired portrayal of sensory, lived-working-body experiences, and offer suggestions for future avenues of research.

Why is it important?

There is a gap in the literature (at the time of writing) in relation to the study of the ‘working body’ in paid employment, particularly with regard to research into the sensory aspects of working practices. This lack seems particularly surprising given how strongly our senses features in much of working life. In this article, we explore some of the highly sensuous dimensions of the body at work.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-954x.2009.01827.x

The following have contributed to this page: Professor Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson