The Changing Chicken: Chooks, Cooks and Culinary Culture

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UNSW Press, 2002 - Cooking - 211 pages
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Chicken meat is one of Australia's most popular and affordable foods, but it was not ever thus. The Changing Chicken provides a unique view of food systems and culture through an examination of our changing attitudes to chicken meat. Colourful descriptions are provided of the activities conducted in hatcheries, on chicken farms, in processing plants, in supermarket delicatessens and in household kitchens. Power, in its many forms, provides the unifying thread, and the concepts of authority and the cultural economy are used to explain how food systems are evolving. The humble table chicken challenges dominant assumptions about how foods become esteemed, or are judged good to eat. By building on insights from the sociology of consumption, retail geography and political economy, the author builds a new framework for studying the shifting balance of power in food systems. The analysis is intentionally multi-disciplinary and, by comparing the Australian situation with international trends in chicken meat production and consumption, the book sheds light on the complex issue of global food systems and national culinary cultures.
 

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Contents

Power in the culinary culture
14
Constructing the social life of the chicken
37
Buying time nutrition and family
59
Working with real time
82
Here a chook there a chook everywhere a chook chook
109
Discursive practices of the chicken
131
A cultural economy view
149
The global chicken
164
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About the author (2002)

Jane Dixon is Fellow at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University.

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