Sugar and Modernity in Latin America: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Sugar and Modernity in Latin America: Interdisciplinary Perspectives


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Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other diseases related to modern lifestyles have spread with frightening speed all over the globe, a development that is often correlated with an increase in the consumption of sugar. Latin America - the cradle of the worlds sugar production - is no exception; it has witnessed an explosion of cases of diabetes, especially in Brazil and Mexico. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to the problem, this book asks two questions. First, what are the relationships between diabetes, sugar intake, and dangerous modern lifestyles? And second, how can research into the material, symbolic, and historical functions of sugar redefine the concept of modernity? Experts in medical science, agriculture, sociology, food science and anthropology, as well as in Latin American, Brazilian, and literary studies use sugar as a prism for understanding the complicated relations between disease and cultural and social habits, between past and present, and between symbolic meanings and material effect. Through this truly interdisciplinary perspective, both traditional approaches to lifestyle diseases and current understandings of modernity are questioned. Sugar and Modernity in Latin America serves as an example of and a call for interdisciplinary dialogue in response to the grand challenges of modern society.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9788771241105
Publisher: Aarhus University Press
Publication date: 01/31/2014
Pages: 172
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 9

Introduction Jim Mann 15

Part 1 The Problem of Health

Opening Remarks Per Bendix Jeppesen 21

I Is There a Correlation Between High Sugar Consumption and the Increase in Health Problems in Latin America? Per Bendix Jeppesen 23

Part 2 The Reference for Sweetness

Opening Remarks Susanne Højlund 55

II Sweetness Preference, Sugar Intake, and Obesity in Latin America Ulla Kidmose Heidi Kildegaard 59

III Tasting Time: The Meaning of Sugar in Cuba. Contextualizing the Taste of Sweetness Susanne Højlund 73

Part 3 The Glocalized Practices

Opening Remarks Ken Henriksen 93

IV Estás Aquí Para Ser Feliz: The Globalization of Sweetened Soft Drinks in Mexico Ken Henriksen 97

V The Sweet Tooth of Mother Earth: Sugar's Symbolic Ways Among the Highland Indians in Bolivia Annie Oehlerich 115

VI Production Methods and Quality of Sugar Cane in Latin America Gitte K. Bjørn Ulla Kidmose 123

Part 4 The Art of Slavery

Opening Remarks Karen-Margrethe Simonsen 137

VII The Perceptions of Modernity in José Lins do Rego's Sugar Cane Cycle, or "not all sugar is sweet" Vinicius Mariano de Carvalho 143

VIII "Sin azúcar no hay país": Transcultural Images of Sugar and Modernity in the Poetry of Nicolás Guillén Karen-Margrethe Simonsen 157

About the authors 169

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