The taste of inequality : food and the reproduction of social class

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Growing inequality manifests in what individuals eat. Indeed, significant dietary and diet-related health disparities in the United States follow a socioeconomic gradient. Scholars commonly account for these dietary inequities using structural explanations that highlight differences in people's geographic and financial access to healthy food. These explanations emphasize food's material value to people with the underlying assumption that people eat simply to nourish themselves, and thus survive. But eating is about much more than physical nourishment: food also has significant symbolic, emotional and cultural value. We eat not only to live, but to fulfill other functions, among them, to provide for loved ones, to cultivate belonging, to show care and affection, and to achieve and signal status. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 160 parents and adolescents and over 100 hours of participant observations with families across socioeconomic status, this dissertation shows how food's symbolic, emotional and moral meanings help drive dietary disparities and contribute to the reproduction of inequality.


Type of resource text
Form electronic resource; remote; computer; online resource
Extent 1 online resource.
Place California
Place [Stanford, California]
Publisher [Stanford University]
Copyright date 2018; ©2018
Publication date 2018; 2018
Issuance monographic
Language English


Author Fielding-Singh, Priya
Degree supervisor Jiménez, Tomás R. (Tomás Roberto), 1975-
Thesis advisor Jiménez, Tomás R. (Tomás Roberto), 1975-
Thesis advisor Gardner, C. D. (Christopher David), 1959-
Thesis advisor Jackson, Michelle Victoria
Thesis advisor McAdam, Doug
Degree committee member Gardner, C. D. (Christopher David), 1959-
Degree committee member Jackson, Michelle Victoria
Degree committee member McAdam, Doug
Associated with Stanford University, Department of Sociology.


Genre Theses
Genre Text

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Priya Fielding-Singh.
Note Submitted to the Department of Sociology.
Thesis Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2018.
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2018 by Priya Fielding-Singh
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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