Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

2019 Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Food, Class Identity, and Gender

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1179-9_438



“Class” refers to hierarchical divisions in society based on wealth, income, prestige, and/or one’s relationship to the means of economic production (i.e., factory owner or worker, landowner, or peasant). Traditional definitions of class are based primarily on material assets, wage labor, and occupational status; they rarely account for unpaid work or everyday practices like shopping, cooking, and eating. Newer “culturalist” or “pluralist” approaches define class as a socially constructed identity that may depend as much on lifestyle and taste as material assets and labor conditions. Feminist scholars also emphasize the intersections between class identity and other social identity categories like gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, nationality, age, and ability. Food plays a central role in the construction of and lived experience of class and gender. This entry explores some of the ethical questions that arise from the...

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA