This book was free awhile ago on ibooks and I was interested to see how Patterson books are so often on the bestsellers list. I still do not have an aThis book was free awhile ago on ibooks and I was interested to see how Patterson books are so often on the bestsellers list. I still do not have an answer...and won't be reading anymore....more
Rooted in literatures from organizational and occupational sociology, Deborah Harris and Patti Giuffre present the results of interviews with 33 femalRooted in literatures from organizational and occupational sociology, Deborah Harris and Patti Giuffre present the results of interviews with 33 female chefs who are working (or once worked) in professional kitchens in central Texas. This regional field work is complemented by a content analysis of the gendered differences in how national food media cover male and female excellence in the kitchen: reviews and chef profiles laud men masters, innovators, and creators of culinary empire; they appreciate women as producers of traditional and homey food. Beyond identifying these trends, the book makes several noteworthy contributions to food studies and gender studies.
For example, the authors present a short and sweet history of the development of cooking as a profession, arguing that it has always been a field plagued by "precarious masculinity," and thus a gender identity that needed to distance itself from the femininity of the domestic sphere and home cooking. This was accomplished through hypermasculinized and exclusionary codification, training, and organizational structures. The text demonstrates that the precarious nature of chef masculinity has not been assuaged by the more recent cultural transition in the field from blue collar cook to celebrity chef, as this has further incited anxiety to police the boundaries of the professional kitchen and who ought to cook in it.
Additional chapters chronicle women's experience entering, cooking in, and leaving professional kitchens, experiences marked by discriminatory divisions of labor (like being assigned the salad station), sexual harassment so ubiquitous that the chefs interviewed considered it natural and unproblematic (until lewd remarks progressed to touching), and a work lifestyle so caustic to family life that many women desiring partners and children are simply forced out.
Taking the Heat concludes that gender inequality is rife in professional kitchens for specific social, organizational, and structural reasons that can - and ought to be - changed for the betterment of not only women chefs, but all who labor in the professional food world....more
This is a new and, I think, very important book for the fields of food studies and American studies. Taking up three hundred years (the nineteenth, twThis is a new and, I think, very important book for the fields of food studies and American studies. Taking up three hundred years (the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries), and employing a theoretical mixture of Foucault, Elias, and Bourdieu, Vester argues that representations of food are culinary texts that shape subjectivities, exert control, and provide space for cultural resistance. Examining various food ephemera and media - including cookbooks, domestic manuals, novels, short stories, magazines, TV shows, films, and art - Taste of Power is organized into three sections. The first examines the role of cookbooks, culinary literature, and food-based still-lifes in the construction of the American Republic, ideas of the nation, and notions of a national cuisine. The second takes up men's cookery advice from 1890 to 1970, arguing that it both subverts and upholds the gender binary and its hierarchy. One of my favorite points: she argues, very intriguingly, that the rise of the male "gourmet" in the 1920s and 1930s was a reaction to the limitations and restrictions of domestic science and nutrition proffered by female experts. The third section explores lesbian cookbooks and memoirs, answering Julia Ehrhardt's call to queer food studies. Vester offers one of the most intersectional analyses to date on the topic of food and paves the way to a food studies future that I hope my work may also contribute. In sum, I highly recommend this book! ...more
Drawing from focus groups, interviews, and discourse analysis of popular food blogs and magazines, Cairns and Johnston argue that even as cultural ideDrawing from focus groups, interviews, and discourse analysis of popular food blogs and magazines, Cairns and Johnston argue that even as cultural ideals promote (and sociological statistics appear to indicate) greater gender equity, food and femininity remain firmly linked. In a postfeminist context, this sustained coupling is not without considerable contradiction and ambivalence, however, as chapters explore both the pleasures and the tensions of food shopping, feeding children, eating healthfully, making ethical food choices, eating, and cooking.
The authors compelling examine these contradictions using the concept of calibration to explain how women navigate, negotiate, and balance these food-world extremes within the structuring and performance of acceptable femininities. For example, the authors argue that the discourse of "healthy eating" has replaced "dieting," as informants and food media alike positively promote food "dos" rather than listing off food "don'ts." Despite this shift, however, expectations to control, regulate, and manage the feminine corporeal self have not disappeared. The advice has simply been repackaged. Relatedly, the authors examine how women calibrate their eating perspectives and habits between the extremes of the health nut or devoted dieter (both are bad) and the hedonistic consumer (who is also bad). It isn't the competing demands of consumption and restraint that cause the double bind for food and femininity (as Susan Bordo argued), but the delicate and narrow range between these poles that is acceptable gustatory territory.
Furthermore, the authors make every effort to engage an intersectional analysis, considering the role of not only gender in these food experiences, but also class, race, and sexuality, though these examinations become a tad formulaic. Overall, however, I'd highly recommend this book for those with an interest in the sociology of food, food studies, gender studies, and/or studies of consumption. ...more
Having studied Mary Mallon's case in my history of medicine courses and readings (and blogged a bit about her here: http://bit.ly/1Tyt2ky), I really eHaving studied Mary Mallon's case in my history of medicine courses and readings (and blogged a bit about her here: http://bit.ly/1Tyt2ky), I really enjoyed this work of historical fiction based on her case. It gets much of the history correct and its fictional explorations actually fill in some gaps in the narrative in interesting ways. I'd definitely recommend for those with an interest in histories of medicine, disease, food and the early twentieth century. ...more
As I get ready to start my dissertation proposal, soaking up some general advice seemed like a natural and feasible place to start. Yes, some of the aAs I get ready to start my dissertation proposal, soaking up some general advice seemed like a natural and feasible place to start. Yes, some of the advice is a tad outdated for our most decidedly digital age, but she offers many great tips, strategies, and stories for how to get from a zero draft to a first draft and to - in a bit more than 15 minutes a day - a final draft. ...more
I had heard such marvelous things about this memoir and am glad I finally got around to reading it. While the first half feels more compelling and hasI had heard such marvelous things about this memoir and am glad I finally got around to reading it. While the first half feels more compelling and has a stronger pace, Hamilton can truly write - about food, and life. ...more
I love Haruki Murakami's work, owning every beautiful book and having read them all at least once. That said, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki is my least favI love Haruki Murakami's work, owning every beautiful book and having read them all at least once. That said, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki is my least favorite. While still full of many gorgeous sentences and pleasantly readable overall, this story is far more realistic than fantastically surrealist -- the quality that is so unique to Murakami's work. Although this story takes us into dreamscapes, they are less intriguing than those in most all his other novels. Like IQ84, I enjoyed reading the book, and unlike IQ84, I finished it quickly, but I can't help but be a bit disappointed by them both......more