Food for Thought

Essays on Eating and Culture

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About the Book

Historically, few topics have attracted as much scholarly, professional, or popular attention as food and eating—as one might expect, considering the fundamental role of food in basic human survival. Almost daily, a new food documentary, cooking show, diet program, food guru, or eating movement arises to challenge yesterday’s dietary truths and the ways we think about dining.
This work brings together voices from a wide range of disciplines, providing a fascinating feast of scholarly perspectives on food and eating practices, contemporary and historic, local and global. Nineteen essays cover a vast array of food-related topics, including the ever-increasing problems of agricultural globalization, the contemporary mass-marketing of a formerly grassroots movement for organic food production, the Food Network’s successful mediation of social class, the widely popular phenomenon of professional competitive eating and current trends in “culinary tourism” and fast food advertising. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Lawrence C. Rubin is a professor of counselor education at St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida, and a practicing psychologist. He lives in Fort Lauderdale.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Lawrence C. Rubin

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 315
Bibliographic Info: 6 photos, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3550-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5151-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Foreword by John Shelton Lawrence      1

Introduction     7

PART I. FROM PRE–MODERNITY TO THE HYPERMODERN AGE

1. Man, Machine and Refined Dining in Victorian America      15
Hillary Murtha

2. Shopping for What Never Was: The Rhetoric of Food, Social Style and Nostalgia      31
Carlnita Greene

3. All You Can Eat: Sociological Reflections on Food in the Hypermodern Era      48
Simon Gottschalk

PART II. EAT LOCALLY, THINK GLOBALLY

4. Raising the Bar: The Complicated Consumption of Chocolate      67
Ellen E. Moore

5. The Espresso Revolution: Introducing Coffee-Bar Franchising to Modern China      83
Jackie Cook and Robert Lee

6. Mass Agrarianism: Wal-Mart and Organic Foods      97
Dawn Gilpin

PART III. ENTERTAINING FOOD AND EATING

7. “Everybody Eats”: The Food Network and Symbolic Capital      113
Megan Mullen

8. Semiotic Sound Bites: Toward an Alimentary Analysis of Popular Song      125
Christopher Joseph Westgate

9. Hunger and Satiety in Latin American Literature      139
Santiago Daydi-Tolson

PART IV. WE ARE WHERE WE EAT

10. Reengineering “Authenticity”: Tourism Encounters with Cuisine in Rural Great Britain      153
Craig Wight

11. Passing Time: The Ironies of Food in Prison Culture      166
Jim Thomas
12. Selfish Consumers: Delmonico’s Restaurant and Learning to Satisfy Personal Desire      180
Heather Lee

13. Is it Really Better to Travel Than to Arrive? Airline Food as a Reflection of Consumer Anxiety      199
Guillaume de Syon

PART V. COME JOIN US

14. Deconstructing the Myth of the Dysfunctional Black Family in the Film Soul Food      211
Tina M. Harris

15. Cultural Representation of Taste in Ang Lee’s Eat, Drink, Man, Woman      225
Ming-Yeh T. Rawnsley

PART VI. EAT, DRINK AND BE PUBLIC

16. Snacking as Ritual: Eating Behavior in Public Places Phillip Vannini     237

17. Beyond Bread and Circuses: Professional Competitive Eating      248
Lawrence C. Rubin

PART VII. SELF-REFLECTION IN A FUN–HOUSE MIRROR

18. “Gourmandizing,” Gluttony and Oral Fixations: Perspectives on Overeating in the American Journal of Psychiatry, 1844 to the Present      265
Dr. Mallay Occhiogrosso

19. Having It His Way: The Construction of Masculinity in Fast-Food TV Advertising      277
Carrie Packwood Freeman and Debra Merskin

Afterword by Lawrence C. Rubin      294

About the Contributors      297

Index      303

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Useful…recommended”—Choice
  • “A veritable smorgasbord of information…offers a significant amount of information about the multifaceted and ever-changing discourse of foodways…excellent, well researched”—Journal of Popular Culture
  • “Addresses obsessions with food…unexpected and novel entries”—Booklist