Research Repository

When the city smells: Perceptions of decay and physical disorder in Rome

Di Ronco, Anna and Persak, Nina (2021) 'When the city smells: Perceptions of decay and physical disorder in Rome.' In: Persak, Nina and Di Ronco, Anna, (eds.) Harm and Disorder in the Urban Space: Social Control, Sense and Sensibility. Routledge Studies in Crime and Society (1st). Routledge. ISBN 9780367552664

Full text not available from this repository.


Urban smell has always played an important role in the societal definition of incivilities, despite it often been considered subordinate to sight and hearing, and the least understood of our senses. Along other senses, however, urban smell has rather been neglected in the criminological study of disorder in the city. This is not a lacuna affecting only this area of criminological study: the inattention to the senses – and to smell among them, in particular – has so far characterised much criminological research. This relative lack of attention to the senses has recently led to a call for the development of a ‘sensory critical criminology’, or to a critical criminology that pays adequate attention to the way senses are implicated in people’s experiences of harm, crime, justice and social control. This chapter responds to this call by focusing on smell, and in particular, on the way it has been conjured in the press construction of the problems related to physical disorder and their solutions in the city of Rome. The chapter concludes by sketching possibilities for future sensory critical and cultural criminological research on urban disorder.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: smell, social control, Rome, sensory criminology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 14 May 2021 14:30
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2021 12:15

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item