Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Food and Eating Etiquette

  • Hannah Smith-Drelich
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6167-4_43-1



Dining etiquette is an elastic term whose definition varies drastically across space and time. There has never been, nor could there be, a universal and precise code of manners, and eating behaviors have developed over time according to codes of conduct and idealized styles of comportment within and across cultures. The act of dining occupies a somewhat ambiguous position in the realm of human behavior: eating is a fundamentally corporal activity, and of the several fundamental bodily functions, it is the only one that is carried out primarily in the company of others, including strangers. Due to its status as both an unavoidably carnal and deeply social activity, dining has developed complex codes of etiquette that attempt to convert the nutritional act of eating into an expression of social status and cultural facility.

Table manners are key...


Idealize Style Table Manner Household Management Dinner Party Enforce Casualness 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New York UniversityNew YorkUSA