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Food & Socioeconomic Status.docx

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Food Studies
FOOD-UE 1051
Jennifer Berg

Food and Identity: Food and Socioeconomic Status April 9th, 2013 Covered Readings: Fitchen, Janet, "Hunger, Malnutrition, and Poverty in the Contemporary United States" (WEB) (Mostly discussed Fitchen, not as much Poppendieck) Poppendieck, Janet, “Want Amid Plenty: From Hunger to Inequality” (F&C) I. Class  Social structure in U.S. is believed to be mobile- someone can work to change their status o Idea that land of free and opportunity means ability to rise/fall, achieve what you put into it. o This is different compared to Europe (spoke about England) and India (strict caste-system)  Education, heritage, geography (Cape Cod vs random small town), occupation (plumber vs professor), mannerisms, pay by salary vs by hour o Degree of prestige, security, benefits: high social class/regard may not necessary mean high economic class/regard II. Hunger in the US  Advertisements say that 1 in 5 NYers are on food assistance programs. III. Ethnography of Low Income  Poor in the U.S. seen in some areas of the South (Louisiana, Georgia), US-Mexico border, formerly industrial cities (Detroit), other cities and rural areas o Poverty in cities is more apparent than in suburbs o Suburbs are seen as a safe haven, comfortable place for the middle class; to live there signifies belonging/conformity to that class  Far fewer food assistance programs, may be run by neighbors. IV. Middle class attitudes toward the Poor  Stigma of hunger- look down on those that are poor, diminished self-image amongst those that are better-off (story about poor woman in suburbs tries to hide hunger)  Perception that the government and charitable efforts are doing enough, keeping hunger in check  Mentality that the poor should do better themselves; poor seen by some as slovenly and lazy, wasteful spenders, ignorant  Seek to maintain image of powerful, wealthy, abundant America  Poor don
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