Jennifer A. Jordan
This chapter addresses some of the central themes in the inquiry into food, taste, and consumption. Specifically, it focuses on how researchers have investigated the causes and consequences of tastes in food, including structural position and identity, and consequences for bodies, and for social and physical landscapes. It is also essential for scholars of food and taste to take seriously the role of pleasure, as well as the effects of food consumption on broader social and physical ecologies. Tastes shape landscapes, affecting carbon production and biodiversity, groundwater and air quality. Researchers cannot study food tastes as somehow disembodied, and the best work in this area today attends to this nexus of pleasure and risk, symbolism and materiality. In addition, researchers in this arena need to be highly attuned to avoiding the centering of their own tastes as markers of good taste.
Jessi Streib, SaunJuhi Verma, Whitney Welsh, and Linda M. Burton
This article examines the culture of poverty thesis, focusing on its many lives, deaths, and reincarnations. It first considers the intellectual history of the culture of poverty thesis before discussing how the argument has been interspersed throughout U.S. history and applied to various groups. It then considers the argument’s scholarly reproduction, noting how it is underlain by a binary whereby segments of the poor, racial minorities, and immigrants are positioned as having a deviant, morally suspect culture that undermines their potential upward mobility, whereas white middle- and upper-class Americans are positioned as having a normal, morally upstanding culture that secures their class position. The article also describes four routine scholarly practices that engender a specter of support for the culture of poverty thesis. Finally, it argues that the culture of poverty should either be put to rest or allowed to live based on its own merits, and suggests ways to end its unintentional resurrection.
Laura Velasco Ortiz
In concert with more localized analyses of border regions, the Border Studies field has contributed to our understanding of how mobility affects identity. The distinction between cultural and identification boundaries has proved relevant for analyzing the identity processes that arise in border interactions typically marked by ambiguity and contradiction. However, the current migratory context is defined by dehumanizing social and political inequalities. This poses a conceptual challenge to understanding the subjectivities produced by the current policies of border control that dehumanize the immigrant and mobile person. This chapter reflects on the conceptual and empirical relationship between migration, borders, and identity in a current climate characterized by global connections and nation-states’ increasing border control over human mobility. It also analyzes the symbolic dimension of state border control and its consequences for constituting identities.
Liliana Rivera-Sánchez and Xóchitl Bada
In this introductory chapter, we develop a brief history around the institutionalization process of sociology in Latin America. At the same time, we revisit some of the core debates and contributions of the sociology of Latin America, identifying some of the topics and fields in which sociology from this region has made key contributions to the discipline. The chapter is divided into three sections: development and institutionalization of the discipline, selected debates and contributions to sociology from Latin America, and, finally, the roadmap to this Handbook, which covers eight research fields.