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Food Between the Country and the City: Ethnographies of a Changing Global Foodscape Paperback – 27 Mar 2014


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This book deals with an historical dichotomy (rural versus urban) that colors almost every discussion of food and diet: Is the city the only true site of gourmet indulgence? Does the romanticization of country food hide the decline of rural life? Is food tourism a form of social exploitation? This collection explores such issues in the context of supermarkets, heritage movements, urban food movements, and the globalization of the Mediterranean diet. This is the "new" ethnography at its best. James L. Watson, Fairbank Professor of Chinese Society and Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus Harvard University, USA With its focus on examining the relationships between and problematizing the tropes of 'city' and 'rural' through the lens of food, this volume makes a valuable contribution to the emerging discipline of critical food studies. It consolidates emerging strands of research in interesting and useful ways by bringing together at once seemingly disparate themes and interrogating them through lenses of city and country. The collection is empirically rich and diverse and speaks to a range of interests, topics and perspectives. The ways that issues of city and country are tacitly explicated within the work of individual contributors is fantastic, and the ways in which they are woven together transforms them into a superb collection. Benjamin Coles, Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Leicester, UK For too long tropes of the city vs. countryside and the values associated with these categories have been taken for granted in food studies. This volume is important in unpacking those categories, examining how they are made, remade and contested in relationship to one another, and the ideological systems that inform how those categories are made in the first place. This is a very timely and necessary intervention in food studies literature. Melissa L. Caldwell, Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA Drawing on a series of telling examples, the authors highlight the value of a comparative, ethnographic perspective in exploring the complex interconnections between urban and rural foodways, past and present. The result is a fitting tribute to Raymond Williams' pioneering work, extending the geographical scope of his argument and using its intellectual power to challenge conventional stereotypes about the country and the city. Peter Jackson, Professor of Human Geography, University of Sheffield, UK The volume is especially appropriate for those working in rural and urban studies and can easily be assigned for undergraduate and graduate level coursework [...] Individual chapters will be of interest to those with related regional and topic focuses, though the material is heavily weighted towards Portugal. And for those interested in Williams's work, the intrigue of this volume remains, in large part, due to the strength of his original insight. What the editors give readers, where perhaps many food anthologies fall short, is a comprehensive theoretical perspective from which to analyze the plethora of ways humans produce, consume, represent, and interpret contemporary foodways. -- Amanda Green Graduate Journal for Food Studies The authors in this volume treat us to several fascinating examples of the tenacity of these tropes in the messy and dynamic material realities of contemporary food production, circulation, and consumption. -- Anne Meneley, Trent University, Ontario, Canada Allegra Laboratory

About the Author

Nuno Domingos is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Instituto de Ciencias Sociais, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, and a Research Associate of the Food Studies Centre, SOAS, University of London, UK. Jose Manuel Sobral is Senior Researcher and Director of the PhD Program in Social Anthropology at the Instituto de Ciencias Sociais, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal. Harry G. West is Professor of Anthropology, and Chair of the Food Studies Centre, at SOAS, University of London, UK.

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