The Taste for Civilization: Food, Politics, and Civil Society

The Taste for Civilization: Food, Politics, and Civil Society

by Janet A. Flammang
     
 

This book explores the idea that table activities-the mealtime rituals of food preparation, serving, and dining-lay the foundation for a proper education on the value of civility, the importance of the common good, and what it means to be a good citizen. The arts of conversation and diplomatic speech are learned and practiced at tables, and a political history of

See more details below

Overview

This book explores the idea that table activities-the mealtime rituals of food preparation, serving, and dining-lay the foundation for a proper education on the value of civility, the importance of the common good, and what it means to be a good citizen. The arts of conversation and diplomatic speech are learned and practiced at tables, and a political history of food practices recasts thoughtfulness and generosity as virtues that enhance civil society and democracy. In our industrialized and profit-centered culture, however, foodwork is devalued and civility is eroding.

Looking at the field of American civility, Janet A. Flammang addresses the gendered responsibilities for foodwork's civilizing functions and argues that any formulation of "civil society" must consider food practices and the household. To allow space for practicing civility, generosity, and thoughtfulness through everyday foodwork, Americans must challenge the norms of unbridled consumerism, work-life balance, and domesticity and caregiving. Connecting political theory with the quotidian activities of the dinner table, Flammang discusses practical ideas from the "delicious revolution" and Slow Food movement to illustrate how civic activities are linked to foodwork, and she points to farmers' markets and gardens in communities, schools, and jails as sites for strengthening civil society and degendering foodwork.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780252076732
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
Publication date:
10/20/2009
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

Part 1 Household Foodwork

Chapter 1 The Time Crunch 25

Chapter 2 Domesticity: Meals, Obligation, and Gratitude 40

Chapter 3 American Food 57

Part 2 Table Conversation

Chapter 4 Conversation and Manners 79

Chapter 5 Table Rituals 100

Chapter 6 Generations at the Table 116

Part 3 Food for Thought

Chapter 7 The Human Psyche and Mind-Body Dualism 133

Chapter 8 Appetite and Taste 155

Part 4 One Woman's Revolution

Chapter 9 Alice Water's Delicious Revolution 173

Chapter 10 Putting the Delicious Revolution into Practice 191

Part 5 Community Food

Chapter 11 Community Food and Belonging in America 213

Chapter 12 Gardens and Community 228

Chapter 13 Farmers' Markets 255

Conclusion 267

Notes 277

Bibliography 295

Index 313

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >