Anthropology of Food

Anthropology of Food : The Social Dynamics of Food Security

3.87 (16 ratings by Goodreads)
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In this new book, Pottier provides an incisive account of food production and famine in the world today. Drawing on the work of anthropologists and other sources, he offers a wide-ranging account of the methods used to produce and distribute food in a variety of cultural and historical contexts, from India to sub-Saharan Africa. Pottier examines the way that interested parties such as multinational food companies, governments and NGOs intervene in the practices of food production throughout the world. He shows the dangerous gap which often exists between the everyday struggles of farmers and the actions of policy makers. Development goals and scientific principles can themselves contribute to unreliable food supply, and agricultural officials too often ignore the knowledge and expertise of those whose sources of food are unstable. They displace local practices, producing a loss of diversity and security.
Anthropology of Food examines in detail the viewpoints of people whose food resources are insecure, exploring their perceptions of the value of land, of farm labor organization, of the way markets operate, of famine relief campaigns, and of the shape and impact of agrarian development policies. He compares these views with the impact of theories adopted by policy-makers, and reflects on the direction of future empirical research and policy-making, stressing that it is the moral responsibility of researchers to be aware of the social dynamics of food security. This book will appeal to second- and third-year undergraduates and postgraduates in the fields of anthropology, development studies, human nutrition, human geography, and public policy studies. It will also be of great interest to policy makers responsible for rural development and food security.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 19.05mm | 810g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0
  • 0745615333
  • 9780745615332

Table of contents

Preface. 1. In Search of Relevance: Anthropology in the Contemporary World. 2. Food Security in Policy and Practice. 3. Land and Livelihood: Land Ownership, Access, Reform and Research Responsibilities. 4. Labor Organization on Smallholder Farms: Structure and Diversity. 5. Playing the Food Market: Actual Markets, Moralities and Social Engineering. 6. Politics of Identity: Agri-business and Agri-culture. 7. Famine Relief, Famine Prevention: Whose Analysis? Whose Solutions? Whose Patronage? 8. Attractive Simplicity?: The Shape of Modern Agricultural Research and Policy. 9. State of Play: Anthropology, Food Security, and New Directions in Research. Notes. Bibliography. Index.
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Review quote

'The Anthropology of Food is an impressive survey and discussion of recent anthropological research on the lack of fit between the lived realities of those who suffer food shortages and the perceptions of interested policy makers. It is also an excellent appraisal of the relevant literature. This book will certainly be highly recommended reading on postgraduate courses in anthropology, development studies, human nutrition, human geography and public policy.' Jeremy MacClancy, Oxford Brookes University 'This well-intentioned volume highlights what local contextual analysis by anthropologists can contribute to food-policy design, implementation and evaluation ... Anthropologists are already producing more and better studies about the diverse household and community impacts of development discourses and decision-making ... Pottier's work adds significantly to these efforts.' European Journal of Development Research
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About Johan Pottier

Johan Pottier is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at SOAS.
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Rating details

16 ratings
3.87 out of 5 stars
5 31% (5)
4 25% (4)
3 44% (7)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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