Food and Culture: A Reader Paperback – 10 Jan 2008
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"I get asked all the time to define Food Studies, and now I have the answer. Read this book. This is a brilliantly selected compilation of the most riveting and entertaining writing on food and culture, ranging from the classic to the post-modern. The range of topics is astounding, and the writing is terrific. Read any of these pieces and you will want to read everything else that author wrote. Anyone reading this book will understand immediately why the study of food teaches us so much about our society, now and in the past." -Marion Nestle, Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health, New York University
About the Author
Carole Counihan is Professor of Anthropology at Millersville University in Pennsylvania and co-editor-in-chief of Food and Foodways. Her earlier books include Around the Tuscan Table: Food, Family, and Gender in Twentieth-Century Florence, Food in the USA, and The Anthropology of Food and Body: Gender, Meaning, and Power.
Penny Van Esterik is Professor of Anthropology at York University in Toronto, Canada where she teaches nutritional anthropology, in addition to doing research on food and globalization in Southeast Asia. She is a founding member of WABA (World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action)and writes on infant and young child feeding, including her earlier book, Beyond the Breast-Bottle Controversy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The essays are written by well-established authors, who provide a wealth of insight into their areas of expertise. The essays are in-depth and dig deep into the heart of each issue. Counihan and Esterik have done an excellent job of revising the text through adding further material in the second edition.
While I found the book to be immensely helpful, I would not recommend it to someone just starting their studies of food culture. The articles assume a well-rounded understanding of sociological principles and can be a bit overwhelming the first time through. I read the book as part of a sociology "Food and Culture" class and at times found myself having to reread articles in order to extract the full meaning. The reader contributed greatly to my understanding and provided a basis for further research, but I found myself struggling through sometimes tedious and lengthy articles.
I would recommend this reader to anyone looking to expand their sociological knowledge or as a text in an advance sociology course. It is a great value for the number of articles that it features and the array of issues that it covers. I plan to keep the reader as a reference book and to review as I encounter food culture issues in the future.
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