Food, Health and Identity: Approaches from the Social Sciences

Caplan, Pat, ed. 1997. Food, Health and Identity: Approaches from the Social Sciences. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415156806 [Edited Book]

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Abstract or Description

'You are what you eat' - or do you eat what you are? How do our identities affect what we choose to eat? Food, Health and Identity considers the way in which our eating habits are changing, and shows how our social and personal identities, as well as our perceptions of health and risk, influence our choices. The Introduction seeks to indicate how social scientists can help us understand why people at what they do. In the following chapters, well-known anthropologists and sociologists consider themes of change and continuity in the context of the family meal, wedding cakes, nostalgia and the invention of tradition, the 'creolisation' of British food, and increases in vegetarianism and eating out. A second theme is that of identity, with studies of both ethic minorities and the dominant majority, as well as the construction of individual identity through culinary lifestyle. Finally questions of health and risk perception are addressed in discussions of current healthy eating' advice and the way in which people respond to it, including a study of recent BSE crises in the context of government/media relations and the new environmental radicalism.

Food, Health and Identity thus raises issues which are topical in the West such as the relative ineffectiveness of official healthy eating advice. It will provide invaluable reading for students of anthropology, cultural studies, health promotion, as well as for those scientists and policy-makers who are concerned with food.

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Edited Book

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7 August 1997

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Date Deposited:

15 Jun 2015 11:38

Last Modified:

16 Jun 2017 10:59


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