Written Paper

Food in the social order: studies of food and festivities in three American communities  [1984]

Douglas, Mary

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Three studies in food anthropology link patterns of social change and social integration to the eating patterns and food practices. The three subcultures that were studied are the Oglala Sioux Indians in South Dakota, southern households in Bakers County, North Carolina, and an Italian-American community in suburban Philadelphia. The text is introduced by a discussion of the standard social user of food and the interpretation of food patterns influenced by social behavior, and closes with a discussion of mathematical models and procedures used to assess calendrical information on food taking behavior. The study of the Oglala Sioux focuses n the importance of food in defining ethnic identity. The Italian-American study describes how gastronomic expressions of ethnicity persist. The North Carolina study evaluates the food practices of blacks and whites in the same socioeconomic brackets in a rural southern community. (wz)