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Food and Love

A Cultural History of East and West

Jack Goody


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The development of romantic love, the evolution of national and regional cuisines, the globalization of Chinese food, the histories of various taboos on certain types of food and drink, the uniqueness of the European family—such are the fascinating and diverse themes Goody addresses in Food and Love.

Starting with a sustained discussion of the debates on social development in the thought of classic theorists as well as contemporary historical and sociological notions of modernization, Goody goes on to tease out the general historical processes embedded in the most intimate recesses of our lives. In a final bracing section challenging dominant relativist conceptions, Goody considers the difficulties and complexities of cross cultural and comparative analysis, and he picks apart the doubts involved in the very process of representation and symbolic communication.

Throughout this collection, Goody demonstrates that the ethnocentricity of much of Western scholarship has distorted not only the comprehension of the East but also developments in the European past and present.

Verso, 9781844674381, 320pp.

Publication Date: March 15, 2010

About the Author

Jack Goody is Professor of Anthropology at Cambridge University and a Fellow of St. John’s College. His publications include The East in the West, The Culture of Flowers, Cooking, Cuisine and Class, and Food and Love.