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SOC349 Readings and Lecture on Foodies, Food Culture and "Good" Food.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Michelle Szabo

th SOC349 – Readings – March 8 , 2013 Reading 1: Let’s Eat Chinese By: Heldke Heldike experimented with other cultural food because perhaps in a way she was tired of “White” American food that has no excitement and is bland. Upon Heldike’s experimentation of new foods, it got her thinking about the cultures of the food she was experimenting, which made her reflect on the sociological, environmental, political conditions of that culture - which got her thinking about the food in a context she had previously idly avoided, such as linking the sprawling of Vietnamese restaurants to the displacements of Vietnamese (during the Vietnam war). Hence she started to connect the food of a culture in a macro scale. She states: If it’s exploitative of me to eat the foods of marginalized Others in casual ignorance, with no regard for the cultural context of those foods, then what is it to refuse to eat the food of the Other. This aspect of exploitation of the Other she coins as “Cultural Food Colonialism” where eating the food of third-world countries made her a colonizer, which maintains the colonizer-colonized dynamic Reading 2: Democracy Vs. Distinction By: Johnston & Baumann They article they provide analyses how cultural consumption sustains status distinctions. Hamburgers are being featured for the elite class – essentially high end society has been incorporating “poor food” – American comfort food (i.e. Macaroni and Cheese, Hot Dog, Eggs, Bacon, Burgers etc.) into their high end lifestyle. He coins this aspect as omnivorousness, where the phenomenon (of high society accepting poor people food) is concerned with a broadening of interests and with the bridging of some kinds of boundaries. A foodie is, "somebody with a strong interest in learning about and eating good food who is not employed in the food industry."(61) - foodies are on average high in economic capital and tend to possess or acquire cultural capital. Discourse: Links concepts together in a web of relationships Discourse Ideologies: System of related ideas that combine explanation with normative prescription Frames: “Draws from the supporting ideas and norms of ideologies, but are understood as more specific cognitive structures advanced by social actors to Ideologies shape interpretation and understanding of specific issues.” Frames Frames essentially legitimatize certain foods as high status. There are two different fames used by omnivores. 1. Authenticity - certain qualities are framed to create the perception of authenticity. In other words, authenticity is a social construction where certain strategies/qualities are used in order to socially construct authenticity. - Based on simplicity, artistry, tradition and geographic specificity 2. Exotic - Foreign/Socially Distant & Excitingly Unusual These are the 4 qualities of food used to frame a food or cuisine as authentic: a. Geographic Specificity – linking foods to places (i.e. broad continental references like “South American” flavors, broad geographic references like “Mediterranean” food, national linkages like “French” Food and specification of regions like “Tuscan” meals were used. b. Simplicity – Hand made (made with unschooled preparation techniques and non-industrial harvesting), small scale (organic and family farmed – nonindustrial production) and simple life (associated with honest people) They mention that food is becoming more democratic where there is inclusivity (pg. 8). Since there are two aspects First, there is the ideology of democratic inclusivity and equality, an ideology that is overtly displayed in gourme
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