Food and the Self

Food and the Self : Consumption, Production and Material Culture

3.5 (8 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


We often hear that selves are no longer formed through producing material things at work, but by consuming them in leisure, leading to 'meaningless' modern lives. This important book reveals the cultural shift to be more complex, demonstrating how people in postindustrial societies strive to form meaningful and moral selves through both the consumption and production of material culture in leisure.

Focusing on the material culture of food, the book explores these theoretical questions through an ethnography of those individuals for whom food is central to their self: 'foodies'. It examines what foodies do, and why they do it, through an in-depth study of their lived experiences. The book uncovers how food offers a means of shaping the self not as a consumer but as an amateur who engages in both the production and consumption of material culture and adopts a professional approach which reveals the new moralities of productive leisure in self-formation. The chapters examine a variety of practices, from fine dining and shopping to cooking and blogging, and include rare data on how people use media such as cookbooks, food television, and digital food media in their everyday life.

This book is ideal for students, scholars, and anyone interested in the meaning of food in modern life.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 22.86mm | 481g
  • Bloomsbury Academic
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • 0857854216
  • 9780857854216

Table of contents

Introduction: Foodies: Material Culture and the Self in Postindustrial Society
1. Moralities of Productive Leisure and Material Culture
2. Learning Things: Material Media and Gastronomic Education
3. Consuming Things: Material Cultures and Moralities of Consumption
4. Dining Out: Restaurants, Serious Consumption and Molecular Gastronomy
5. Shopping: Slow Food, Ethical Consumption and the Morality of Quality
6. Producing Things: Material Media and Moralities of Production
7. Cooking: Manual Leisure and Material Production
8. Blogging: Digital Leisure and Material Media Production
Afterword: Materializing Moral Selves
show more

Review quote

Food and the Self provides an interesting and broad discussion of the complexities of consumption and production in the formation of identity in postindustrial modernity ... this book should be of great interest to graduate students and advanced scholars of modernity, production and consumption, and food studies. The book's focus on food and culture among middle and upper classes in metropolises is unique and an important contribution to the literature. * Anthropology of Food * Isabelle de Solier has produced an invaluable account of the foodie--a phenomenon that crept up on wealthy nations as food went from being hard to obtain to being easy to savor, regardless of climate or geography. And what an account this is, a fascinating blend of an insider's and an outsider's observations. A tour de force. * Toby Miller, Distinguished Professor of Media & Cultural Studies, University of California Riverside USA * Food has become a growing obsession in Western society, as can be seen in the spread of restaurants, cookbooks, TV shows, and blogs, but what does it actually mean to foodies? Although scholars have examined the professional production of gourmet culture, this innovative work follows ordinary people as they navigate the material and moral complexities of eating. * Jeffrey M. Pilcher, author of Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food and Professor of History at the University of Minnesota, USA * Food and the Self is a bold and original book about the formation of selves in the culture of food and foodies, and a carefully researched account of the material supports and transmission of that culture in the circuits of professional and amateur expertise. * John Frow, ARC Professorial Fellow, Department of English, University of Sydney, Australia * This brilliantly written volume provides a timely and critical intervention to the rapidly growing fields of food studies and material culture. Isabelle de Solier has literally written the definitive book on how and what it means to make one's self as a foodie in postindustrial times. This must-read volume is set to make a substantive intellectual and interdisciplinary impact on the study of food politics, media cultures, contemporary lifestyles and much beyond. * Mike Goodman, Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Reading, UK *
show more

About Isabelle De Solier

Isabelle de Solier is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Victoria University, Australia. She has published on food in the European Journal of Cultural Studies, Continuum, and the edited collection Exposing Lifestyle Television, and is the editor of Food Cultures, a special issue of Cultural Studies Review.
show more

Rating details

8 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 0% (0)
4 50% (4)
3 50% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X