Contexts

sociology for the public

Summer 2014

Volume: 13 | Number: 3

In a special issue on food, we serve up tasty morsels on topics such as food deserts, urban rooftop gardens, gourmet burger joints, and competitive eating.

The Joy of Cooking?

Sociologists Sarah Bowen, Sinikka Elliott, and Joslyn Brenton offer a critique of the increasingly prevalent message that reforming the food system necessarily entails a return to the kitchen. They argue that time pressures, tradeoffs to save money, and the burden of pleasing others make it difficult for mothers to enact the idealized vision of home-cooked meals advocated by foodies and public health officials. Read More

Inside the Extreme Sport of Competitive Eating

Sociologist Priscilla Ferguson considers competitive eating as an expression of identifiably American connections between abundance and country. Overeating both honors country and transgresses social norms. Read More

Big Business in the School Cafeteria

Sociologist Ivy Ken questions the activities of two non-profit organizations that broker agreements with food companies to provide healthier products for schools. Read More

Eating Military Base Stew

Sociologist Grace M. Cho investigates the origins of a Korean dish called budae jjigae ("military base stew") and reveals its layered meanings for Korean American diasporic identity. Read More

Happy Meals

As a child growing up in the city of Chicago, I never gave much thought to where the food I ate came from. While I … Read More

Why Poor People Buy Bottled Water

During the past 15 years bottled water consumption in the United States has doubled— to an average of 30 gallons per person annually. And bottled … Read More

Not-So-Sweet Charity

The 2013 Farm Bill proposes to cut $8 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly referred to as food stamps. While the $5-20 monthly … Read More