Cooking, Cuisine and Class: A Study in Comparative Sociology
The preparation, serving and eating of food are common features of all human societies, and have been the focus of study for numerous anthropologists - from Sir James Frazer onwards - from a variety of theoretical and empirical perspectives. It is in the context of this previous anthropological work that Jack Goody sets his own observations on cooking in West Africa. He criticises those approaches which overlook the comparative historical dimension of culinary, and other, cultural differences that emerge in class societies, both of which elements he particularly emphasises in this book. The central question that Professor Goody addresses here is why a differentiated 'haute cuisine' has not emerged in Africa, as it has in other parts of the world. His account of cooking in West Africa is followed by a survey of the culinary practices of the major Eurasian societies throughout history - ranging from Ancient Egypt, Imperial Rome and medieval China to early modern Europe - in which he relates the differences in food preparation and consumption emerging in these societies to differences in their socio-economic structures, specifically in modes of production and communication. He concludes with an examination of the world-wide rise of 'industrial food' and its impact on Third World societies, showing that the ability of the latter to resist cultural domination in food, as in other things, is related to the nature of their pre-existing socio-economic structures. The arguments presented here will interest all social scientists and historians concerned with cultural history and social theory.
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Intentions and remarks
State of play
Production and consumption among the LoDagaa and Gonja of northern Ghana
The high and the low culinary culture in Asia and Europe
Industrial food towards the development of a world cuisine
The impact of the world system
Abbassid agricultural analysis animals anthropology areas Ashanti aspects Audrey Richards Bagre beer behaviour boiled Brahman bread brewing cassava century cereals ceremonies chief China Chinese commensality common conspicuous consumption consumption context contrast cooked food cowries cuisine culinary culinary triangle culture diet differentiation dishes distinct distribution domestic drink earlier eating economic elaborate elements English cuisine especially Europe farming festivals fish Gonja Goody grain groups Hausa haute cuisine hierarchy household human important India industrial kind kitchen labour Levi-Strauss lexemes linguistic linked LoDagaa marriage meal meat Muslim nature northern Ghana organisation palm wine particular partly peasant period plough political polygynous porridge pre-colonial preparation preservation production prohibitions recipes relations rice rich ritual roasting role Salaga salt sauce sexual shea nuts slaves social societies sociology structure town trade traditional triangle village West Africa wider wives women yams