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Food and Society: Principles and Paradoxes, 2nd Edition

Food and Society: Principles and Paradoxes, 2nd Edition

Amy E. Guptill, Denise A. Copelton, Betsy Lucal

ISBN: 978-1-509-50184-7 December 2016 Polity 264 Pages


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This popular and engaging text, now revised in a second edition, offers readers a social perspective on food, food practices, and the modern food system. It engages readers' curiosity by highlighting several paradoxes: how food is both individual and social, reveals both distinction and conformity, and, in the contemporary global era, comes from everywhere but nowhere in particular. With updates and enhancements throughout, the new edition provides an empirically deep, multifaceted, and coherent introduction to this fascinating field.

Each chapter begins with a vivid case study, proceeds through a rich discussion of research insights, and ends with discussion questions and suggested resources. Chapter topics include food's role in socialization, identity, health and social change, as well as food marketing and the changing global food system. The new edition gives more focused attention to labor (both paid and unpaid) in all aspects of the food system. In synthesizing insights from diverse fields of social inquiry, the book addresses issues of culture, structure, and social inequality throughout.

Written in a lively style, this book will continue to be both accessible and revealing to beginning and intermediate students alike.

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1. Principles and Paradoxes in the Study of Food

2. Food and Identity: Fitting In and Standing Out

3. Food as Spectacle: The Hard Work of Leisure

4. Nutrition and Health: Good to Eat, Hard to Stomach

5. Branding and Marketing: Governing the Sovereign Consumer

6. Industrialization: The High Costs of Cheap Food

7. Global Food: From Everywhere and Nowhere

8. Food Access: Surplus and Scarcity

9. Food and Social Change: The Value of Values



-A more streamlined framework, presenting foodways and food systems as complementary perspectives on the social world of food
-More focused attention to labor (paid and unpaid) in all aspects of the food system
-Updates and enhancements throughout, reflecting exciting thinking and scholarship in the field
“The second edition of Food & Society builds on the considerable strengths of its predecessor to compass a lively, accessible, and engaging journey through how and why we eat the ways we do. Its classroom exercises and supplementary reading suggestions help it earn its place as an anchor text for undergraduate introductions to the food system.” - Raj Patel, The University of Texas at Austin

“Food & Society gives us a fascinating introduction to the issues in food studies of greatest current concern. This exceptionally well-researched book explains why food matters so much and why it generates such intense controversy. The book may be aimed at students, but anyone interested in food issues will have much to learn from the paradoxes it presents.” - Marion Nestle, New York University and author Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning)