SFB 1187 ›Medien der Kooperation‹ an der Universität Siegen
Werkstatt Medienpraxistheorie – „The normative order of sensing“ – Vortrag von Lorenza Mondada
Dienstag, 15. November 2022, 18:15 - 19:45 Uhr

The normative order of sensing: Enacting the score sheet in tasting sessions

Tasting sessions represent a perspicuous setting for a praxeological approach of sensoriality: they are a social activity in which the senses and the sensorial features of objects are the main focus of the participants. Tasting sessions are an activity in which participants do not merely eat (Mondada in press, Fele 2019), do not just taste (without having to verbally express a judgment, contrary to other settings, Mondada 2021), but taste in order to precisely describe what they sense (Liberman 2013, 2018, Mondada 2020, 2022, in press, Mondada & Fele 2020), using specific repertoires of descriptors. Thus, the activity crucially articulates sensations and their linguistic expression. However, this activity is more than just the association of a sensing body and some language. It is a practical situated achievement that relies on a specific understanding of what sensoriality is, its relation to language and, crucially, its relation to culture, expertise, and institutionality — represented by the use of a range of semiotic and lexical tools (such as the Aroma wheel). These tools constrain the expression of sensoriality and authorize some descriptions, while discrediting others. In this way the senses are normatively disciplined. This paper shows how the body, materiality, language, and normative constrains are practically managed and bodily aligned by the participants of tasting sessions. In this way, it provides for an account of the sociality of the senses that does not rely on a global deterministic sociological account but on the subtle ways in which the senses are normatively disciplined within situated occasions of sensing.

Lorenza Mondada is Professor for linguistics at the University of Basel. Her research deals with social interaction in ordinary, professional and institutional settings, within an ethnomethodological and conversation analytic perspective. Her focus is on video analysis and multimodality, researching how the situated and endogenous organization of social interaction draws on a diversity of multimodal resources such as, beside language, gesture, gaze, body posture, movements, objects manipulations as well as multisensorial practices such as touching, tasting and smelling (see her last book, Sensing in Social Interaction (CUP, 2021).


Universität Siegen
Campus Herrengarten
AH-A 217/18
Herrengarten 3