Sensual culture : the socio-sensual practices of clubbing
This study is examines of the world of clubbing when viewed as a holistic field of socio-sensual practice. Over the course of this study I observed a consistent form of bodily practice, occurring in clubs, that had initially appeared very different from one another. This practice made these clubs more similar to one another than different and this socio-sensual similarity became the focus of this study. In order to examine this aspect of clubbing I have utilised a number of theoretical frameworks, that arose from a series of disparate fields, but which are still connected. From anthropology and sociology I have drawn upon the work of Pierre Bourdieu, Marcel Mauss, Michael Foucault, Norbert Elias and Chris Shilling. From Philosophy I have utilised the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson. From neuro-cognitive studies I was strongly influenced by the work of Antonio Damasio and Joseph LeDoux. These alternate perspectives consolidate one another's assertions, as to the nature of this experiential encounter, and I have used them to provide a connective thread across the realm of clubbing. Nevertheless the vast bulk of theoretical material in this work is derived from observing and participating in club nights and interviewing clubbers, both at a formal and informal level. This has created a study which explores two aspects of the club scene. The first arises from the actual practice of clubbing: what people experience, how it affects them, what they make of it, and it is grounded in an ethnographic analysis of the space. The second is a theory of sensuality, which is also derived from observations of the club space and is grounded in an examination of the way in which people experience and give meaning to their worlds through the sensual practice of inhabiting that world.