Alan Warde

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Consumption

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199561216
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History


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Among the copious research on consumption in the last couple of decades, historians and historical accounts have made some most trenchant and fruitful contributions. However, our improved understanding of the operation of, for want of a better concept, consumer culture, has, despite its apparent potential, had limited impact on the analysis of eating. This article reviews recent scholarship in the field of eating and food consumption, and uses the lens of the globalization thesis to explore how goods, people, and ideas have come to circulate in ways that affect eating habits. It argues that scholarship on eating per se has been comparatively weak, and that recently, rather than being driven by the theoretical concerns of social science, the focus has been on popular anxieties about food. The article also discusses the movement of goods and the movement of people (international migration, suburbanization), and the circulation of ideas about what is good to eat (gastronomy and restaurant guides, cookery books).

Keywords: eating; food consumption; eating habits; globalization; goods; people; ideas; movement; international migration; cookery books

Article.  9692 words. 

Subjects: History

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