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June 02 , 2010

Fashioning Appetite

Restaurants and the Making of Modern Identity


It can no longer be said that we are just what we eat. In the contested sphere of gastronomy divided between the golden arches of McDonalds and the prized stars of Michelin where personal identity is expressed through a frenetic quest for socially-approved tastes and distinctions, where, when, how and with whom we eat has become just as fundamental in defining who we are. In this follow-on to her classic 1989 work Dining Out: A Sociology of Modern Manners, Joanne Finkelstein takes a fragment of social life, dining out in restaurants, and uses it to examine the nature and meaning of manners and social relations in the modern world.

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