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Consumption, Food and Taste
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Consumption, Food and Taste



February 1997 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Exploring the expression of taste through the processes of consumption this book provides an incisive and accessible evaluation of the current theories of consumption, and trends in the representation and purchase of food.

Alan Warde outlines various theories of change in the twentieth century, and considers the parallels between their diagnoses of consumer behaviour and actual trends in food practices. He argues that dilemmas of modern practical life and certain imperatives of the culture of consumption make sense of food selection. He suggests that contemporary consumption is best viewed as a process of continual selection among an unprecedented range of generally accessible items which are made available both commercially and informally.

 
PART ONE: ISSUES OF TASTE
 
Consumption, Taste and Social Change
 
The New Manners of Food
Trends and their Sociological Interpretation  
 
Measuring Change in Taste
 
PART TWO: INDICATORS OF TASTE: CHANGING FOOD HABITS
 
Novelty and Tradition
 
Health and Indulgence
 
Economy and Extravagance
 
Convenience and Care
 
PART THREE: INTERPRETATIONS OF TASTE
 
The Reconstruction of Taste
 
Theories of Consumption and the Case of Food

`Alan Warde, professor in sociology at the University of Lancaster, makes here a well argued and important contribution, on the basis of empirical research, to current theories of consumption. The book is in three parts: `Issues of Taste', `Indicators of Taste: Changing Food Habits', and

`Interpretations of Taste'. In each, fresh material is usefully explored and new viewpoints presented regarding the relationship between consumption patterns and processes of economic production of

food' -

`Food is of immediate interest to work, employment and society. It straddles a number of sectors, from agriculture through processing and retailing to catering. As such it is the source of a wide variety of jobs, in number and type. Further, food is not fodder; it is prepared both in and out of the home, has enormous symbolic significance, and is intimately related to social and economic reproduction. Warde's carefully constructed and argued book is primarily concerned with food and consumption...

This book does much to clear the ground of other, over-generalized theories of food consumption, and it provides a considerable range of alternative perspectives informed by empirical material. As such, it will prove invaluable to those examining food and consumption. It opens the way for further analytical advance if wedded to, and reconstructed on the basis of , a more detailed attention to specific foods and how they are provided' - Work, Employment and Society


A very useful text, which has added the sociological elements required for the module.

Mrs Susan Skipper
Law Justice & Community Studies, East Lancashire Institute of HE at Blackburn
June 23, 2010

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