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Food: The Key Concepts
This book offers an exciting, coherent and interdisciplinary introduction to the study of food studies for the beginning reader. Food choices, the author argues, are the result of a complex negotiation among three competing considerations: the consumers' identity; matters of convenience, including price; and an awareness of the consequences of what is consumed. The book co ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published October 15th 2008 by Bloomsbury Academic
(first published July 8th 2008)
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As a novice foody, this felt like a really good introduction to the study of food. Covering the history of food studies, food and identity (especially through memory and ethnicity), the delocalization or reimagining of food, food and globalization, feminism and food, and the politics of food consumption, this book is well researched and has a nice sized bibliography for those who are looking for certain ins on certain subjects. Its major flaw is its focus on American and Europe diets and its ove ...more
I didn't have high expectations for this book, thought it would be kind of text bookish, but I was pleasantly surprised. Belasco does a very nice job of surveying the scholarship on food studies in a concise and accessible way. I thought the book was especially strong in its treatment of contemporary food culture and the implications of our food choices. I'm having the students in my food history course this semester use it for their research papers on the impact of their own food choices.
More background reading for my dissertation, although this one went into a little more detail then Coveney's which I read earlier this month. I especially enjoyed the focus on his students and their answers, as well as the inclusion of Proust. There were also some interesting studies he cited, easily understandable/relatable such as the study of oreos. However at times felt too self-referential to me, and some chapters felt a little too dry so a very solid three star read.
Had to get this b/c Warren is great and I've taught a fair amount of food studies. This would make an excellent introductory text for undergrads. Nothing really new for me, esp as I've read his other stuff and this naturally borrows much from that, but it's well put together and his writing is always clear and lively.
While I found the topics in this book somewhat of a rehash of topics in many other books I found the presentation interesting. The idea of adding a mini study guide interesting. It could challenge the average to go a bit farther and ask themselves some very pertinent questions.