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SOC 2080 (82)
Lecture

Jan 9th 2014 Rural Soc UPL.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 2080
Professor
Anthony Winson
Semester
Winter

Description
Jan 9     2014   Rural Soc The Intimate Commodity ­ Marvin Harris: what is good to eat is good to sell▯fitting quote for commodity because food is a  commodity  ­ Use Value—any commodity you can think of that has a certain use—i.e. hammer▯to drive nails ­ Exchange Value—worth a certain amount of money, is the money value determined by the use  value supply in demand no need for hammers  more people use nail guns over hammer = hammer has lost monetary value  made in china = cheap to make cheap to sell  ­ History/anthropology of food intimate commodity, everyone needs food—cannot survive  ­ Corn and the Mayans originated and domesticated with corn—in Mexico  ­ rice and eastern cultures  originated and domesticated took on strong cultural dimensions  ­ do certain foods still occupy a privileged place in Can society? Possibly timbits?  Most established cultures have food from the past that is part of their history  Food, Status and Inequality ­ Foods in Medieval Europe th gruel diet—vegetables, potatoes—imported 17­18  century more popular a lot of grains, occasional meats lords of the land controlled the land—in trouble for approaching their land  a lot of salt in the Europe diet—salted fish very popular  ­ Hindu caste culture: a person acceptable for the table is acceptable for the marriage bed” ­ Food/dietary inequalities today: nationality and internationality  who gets to eat what, where—Canada food ‘aid’ and dietary transformation: case of American wheat and public law 480—allowed export  of wheat to developing countries considered of a form of pay  American gov’t hoped it would help push countries to an American diet▯more American food and  trade  Free trade and food: case of Mexico—agro exports and corn imports—allowed the American’s to  import into Mexico—much of small farms in Mexico suffered▯cheap American corn hurt small  farmers  Who gains and who loses? Messy business  Food: Dimension of Production ­ What is unique about the production of food vs other commodity not different, has a value and price, traded in markets  ­ Special place of the farm and faming as site of production in our culture  just the reality—more so in the past renewed interest and local food—helping local producers  many people in the past engaged in farming either directly or in­directly  ­ Historical importance of agrarians—rarely taught anymore—weird because huge in Canadian  history ­ The agro­food complex—why? Back in the day minimally packed and processed More whole  Today—not at all—global corporations ­ $ value of inputs and processing 10x value 
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