`` Hyperesthesia, Or, The Sensual Logic Of Late Capitalism ``
1705 Words7 Pages
Often times, our senses can trigger memories that are hidden in the crevices throughout our brain. The smell of fresh linen can activate a childhood memory of playing in the backyard while a parent hangs wet laundry on a clothesline. The taste of gingerbread ice-cream can awaken a memory of visiting grandma’s house. The sight of purple daisies can arouse a memory of attending a wedding decorated with purple daisies. Senses stimulate our memories because according to cultural anthropologist Constance Classen, “senses themselves may each be linked with different trains of associations” (Classen 1997: 401). Because of this link, senses and memories have an interwoven relationship. Furthermore, some consumer capitalists have exploited this interrelationship to profit themselves.
In David Howes’ article, “HYPERESTHESIA, or, The Sensual Logic of Late Capitalism,” Howes explains how capitalists today are focusing on multisensory marketing to fully evoke a sensual experience when one walks into a store or passes by a product (Howes 2005: 298) . This way, the shopper will be more alert and therefore, be more inclined to purchase goods. This phenomenon is known as hyperesthesia, which is the heightened experience of senses. This experience fully engulfs one’s sight, smell, hearing, taste, or touch, which can cause an overwhelming yet unforgettable sensation. Some critics have viewed this hypersensuality as an excessive notion to seduce consumers into purchasing goods; however others