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Dissertation Defense: "The Taste of Inequality: Food and the Reproduction of Social Class"
Significant dietary disparities in the United States follow a socioeconomic gradient. Scholars commonly account for these disparities with explanations that highlight differences in people's access to food. These explanations assume that we eat simply to nourish ourselves and survive. But eating is about more than survival: we eat not only to live, but to fulfill other functions, among them, to provide for loved ones, cultivate belonging, show affection, and signal status. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 160 parents and adolescents and over 100 hours of participant observations with families across socioeconomic status, this talk show how food's symbolic, emotional, and moral meanings help drive dietary disparities and reproduce inequality.
Priya Fielding-Singh is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Sociology studying food, health and social inequality.