• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

In this wide-ranging and thought-provoking analysis of the sociocultural and personal meanings of food and eating, Deborah Lupton explores the relationship between food and embodiment, the emotions and subjectivity. She includes discussion of the intertwining of food, meaning and culture in the context of childhood and the family, as well as: the gendered social construction of foodstuffs; food tastes, dislikes and preferences; the dining-out experience; spirituality; and the `civilized' body. She draws on diverse sources, including representations of food and eating in film, literature, advertising, gourmet magazines, news reports and public health literature, and her own empirical research into people's preferences, memories, experiences

Food, the Family and Childhood
Food, the family and childhood

The sharing of food is a vital part of kinship and friendship networks in all societies. The extent to which an individual is invited to share food with another individual is a sign of how close a friend or relative that person is deemed to be. As Sahlins (1972: 215) observes: ‘Food dealings are a delicate barometer, a ritual statement as it were, of social relations, and food is thus employed instrumentally as a starting, a sustaining, or a destroying mechanism of sociability.’ While casual acquaintances may be invited to share only a hot or alcoholic drink, perhaps accompanied by snack foods such as biscuits or hors-d'œuvres, closer friends or relatives share full meals, with the ...

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