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Making sense of the smell of Bangladesh
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 17:14 authored by Benjamin Zeitlyn
This article draws links between the sense of smell, aesthetic choices concerning clothes, ideas about modernity and the aspirations of young British Bangladeshis. In doing so it highlights the preconscious and conscious factors that inform the identities that British Bangladeshis express. The article argues that despite its importance for our sense of belonging, the sense of smell has been neglected in accounts of identity. This discussion leads to a critique of Bourdieu’s notion of habitus and illustrates the ways in which the conscious elements of habitus draw upon the unconscious. Dispositions towards the smell of Bangladesh feed into ways in which British Bangladeshis express their identities through aesthetic choices and in turn reveal preferences for different discourses of modernity.
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