ANTHRO 133F Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Cheesemaking, Ethnography, Participant Observation

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Differences in approach between mintz, sahlins, and douglas. Sahlins argues that there"s no such thing as needs independent of symbolic mediation. Production and consumption have to be understood as culturally meaningful activity. Douglas emphasizes how highly structured eating is as an activity. We can explain patterns of eating through repeated analogies and highly repetitive structures. Mintz, sahlins, and douglas all use a series of binary distinctions. Douglas- ordinary and grand meal, hot and cold, etc. Sahlins- closeness to or distance from humans determines which animals we think are edible. Ochs et al underline relation between eating and identity by saying what one eats, how one eats, when and with whom are guided by understandings of one"s identity within society. Identities are shaped, formed, reproduced, and transmitted from practices of cooking and eating. But they do not believe that eating is the only form of identity forming.

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