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Feeding The Middle Classes: Taste, Class and Domestic Food Practices

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kate Gibson


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Feeding the Middle Classes takes everyday eating as a lens through which to observe class and identity formation. The book focuses on middle-class practice and habitus to highlight how class works through privilege and access, and in so doing, lays bare a range of social and cultural processes which work to legitimise ‘good’ food and the identities configured by those who consume it.Based on detailed qualitative fieldwork, Feeding the Middle Classes explores how class is implicated in the myriad of practices surrounding domestic food provisioning. From shopping to planning to cooking through to feeding families, ideas about individuality, authenticity, and critical reflexivity are shown to have classed significance within increasingly fragmented dynamics of taste. The book highlights how these ideas can be drawn upon as classed social markers, to mark boundaries around an individuated self, especially in relation to, and working against, an imagined uncritical mass implicitly marked as unreflexively consuming the wrong sorts of food. In an era of individualised identities and a neoliberal emphasis on personal choice and responsibility, there is a lack of scrutiny about how access to ‘good’ foods relies on the possession of multiple forms of capital. In addressing this gap, Feeding the Middle Classes offers a new understanding of a hitherto undertheorized dimension of middle-class reproduction.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gibson K

Publication type: Authored Book

Publication status: In Press

Year: 2023

Acceptance date: 01/12/2022

Publisher: Bristol University Press

Place Published: Bristol


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781529214888