Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Food is an important indicator of social differentiation, which defines the boundaries between social groups, and social hierarchy, which entails class, status, and power inequality. Because food is a basic element of material culture and social life, it has occupied a central place in the discipline of anthropology from its earliest days. Anthropologists view food and foodways as tools with which to understand individual cultures and societies, especially when they are situated in the context of global and historical flows and connections. Ethnography, the methodology used by anthropologists and by some other social scientists, relies on a holistic and empathetic approach based on lived experience among the people being studied. Anthropologists have long been interested in commensality as both a source and an expression of group identities. Another way to probe sociality is to analyze gifts and manners.

Keywords: food, anthropology, social differentiation, commensality, gifts, manners, sociality, ethnography, social hierarchy, material culture

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.