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Food and Culture: A Reader Paperback – 10 Jan 2008

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Product Description


"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 (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "Inside view" of book deceiving! 22 April 2011
By food justice student - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
BEWARE false advertising! I designed a college course/independent study for myself using this book and several others as the basis for the curriculum. Because the course description and bibliography were due before the book was scheduled to arrive, I used Amazon's "Look Inside" tool to check out the Table of Contents and get specifics on the book. The book arrived today, and the essays contained within it are very much different from the ones listed in the Table of Contents that I viewed. When you view the table of contents via "Look Inside", there is a warning that says: "Just so you know...This view is of the Hardcover edition (1997) from Routledge. The Paperback edition (2007) from Routledge that you originally viewed is the one you'll receive if you click the Add to Cart button at left." What the warning doesn't specify is that the paperback version you will receive actually contains some of the same but mostly many different essays than the ones shown in the "Look Inside." There are many essays I had planned to use in my studies that are not included in the version I received at all. Sorry Amazon, but I'm really disappointed in you on this one. It sounded like the only difference was that I'd be receiving the 2007 paperback version instead of the 1997 hardcover version. If the content of the book is different, I call it false advertising not to inform the customer of that very important detail prior to ordering.
5.0 out of 5 stars A wealth of information on food culture issues 28 Dec. 2010
By Joshua P. OConner - Published on
Format: Paperback
As a broad review of food culture from a sociological/anthropological perspective, "Food and Culture" provides an excellent starting point. At over 600 pages with 36 articles on a wide variety of food issues, editors Carole Counihan and Penny Van Esterik have compiled a resource that represents major topics on the subject. Essays are categorized under four major subject headings including "Foundations", "Gender and Consumption", "Food and Identity Politics", and "Political Economy of Food".

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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written 15 Jan. 2013
By Sharon I Freeman - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this book for a anthropology class and found it to be extremely interesting and informative. It helps that I find the subject matter interesting.
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