Food & Society : Principles and Paradoxes


Food & Society : Principles and Paradoxes



By: Amy E. Guptil (College at Brockport faculty member), Denise A. Copelton (College at Brockport faculty member), and Betsy Lucal.

This timely and engaging text offers students a social perspective on food, food practices, and the modern food system. It engages readers’ curiosity by highlighting several paradoxes: how food is both mundane and sacred, reveals both distinction and conformity, and, in the contemporary global era, comes from everywhere but nowhere in particular. With a social constructionist framework, the book provides an empirically rich, multi-faceted, 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, work, health and social change, as well as food marketing and the changing global 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 be both accessible and revealing to beginning and intermediate students alike.



Publication Date


Publication Information

Malden, MA : Polity, 2013.

232 p. : illustrations ; 24 cm.






Located in Drake Library at: GT2855 .G868 2013

CONTENTS: Principles and paradoxes in the study of food -- Food and identity: fitting in and standing out -- Food as spectacle: the hard work of leisure -- Nutrition and health: good to eat, hard to stomach -- Branding and marketing: governing the sovereign consumer -- Industrialization: the high costs of cheap food -- Global food: from everywhere and nowhere -- Food access: surplus and scarcity -- Food and social change: the value of values.

Food & Society : Principles and Paradoxes