Discourses, contestation and alternative consumption
The politicalmorality of food: discourses,
contestation and alternative consumption
Anthropology and sociology have been keen to show that consumption is a
social and moral field, and that consumer practices are part of an ongoing
process of negotiation of social classifications and hierarchies. Food consumption in particular has been associated with symbolically mediated
notions of order (Douglas and Isherwood 1979). We know that particular
foods are identified with annual festivities, set apart for
This book explores the new applications of established theories or adapts theoretical approaches in order to illuminate behaviour in the field of food. It focuses on social processes at the downstream end of the food chain, processes of distribution and consumption. The book reviews the existing disciplinary approaches to understanding judgements about food taste. It suggests that the quality 'halal' is the result of a social and economic consensus between the different generations and cultures of migrant Muslims as distinct from the non-Muslim majority. Food quality is to be viewed in terms of emergent cognitive paradigms sustained within food product networks that encompass a wide range of social actors with a wide variety of intermediaries, professional and governmental. The creation of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) occurred at a juncture when perceptions of policy failure were acknowledged at United Kingdom and European Union governmental levels. The book presents a case study of retailer-led food governance in the UK to examine how different 'quality logics' actually collide in the competitive world of food consumption and production. It argues that concerns around food safety were provoked by the emergence of a new food aesthetic based on 'relationalism' and 'embeddedness'. The book also argues that the study of the arguments and discourses deployed to criticise or otherwise qualify consumption is important to the political morality of consumption.
The victims' struggle for recognition and recurring genocide memories in Namibia
Vilho Amukwaya Shigwedha
of the Herero–Nama genocide has mainly focused on the politics of
the victims’ ‘unsettled memory’ and the legacy of ‘embedded history’
between Namibia and Germany: apology, restitution and redress for
the victims.5 However, none of the existing literature has explored the
tension and divide that the return of the skulls has created between
the local customary rites, on the one hand, and the politicalmorality
of the Namibian and German governments on the other. In particular, difficulties emanating from the disappointment of the Namibian
delegation (which will
business. People are not just civic nationalists – they also
exist beyond nationalism.
R. Goodin, Motivating PoliticalMorality
(Oxford, Blackwell, 1992), p. 27.
R. Goodin, B. Headley, R. Muffels and H.K. Dirven,
The Real Worlds of Welfare Capitalism (Cambridge, Cambridge
Some theorists think that if am not free to do x
then I am unfree to do x. Others deny this, saying that one might be
neither free nor unfree to do x. See, respectively, H. Steiner,
‘Freedom and Bivalence’, in I. Carter and M. Ricciardi
(eds), Freedom, Power and PoliticalMorality. Essays for Felix
Oppenheim (London, Palgrave, 2001); Kramer, The Quality of
Freedom , ch. 2
, Affluence and
Morality’, p. 232.
G. Graham, Ethics and International Relations
(Oxford, Blackwell, 1997), p. 136.
Singer, ‘ Famine, Affluence and
Morality’, pp. 231–2.
R.M Hare, Essays on Political
of the French republic. In the early years, however, there was a debate
between what we would now call ‘political’ and ‘comprehensive’ liberals.
The former hoped that laïcité, if construed strictly as a principle of politicalmorality, could be endorsed even by non-liberals – such as traditional
Catholics. The challenge was then to define a non-religious moral alternative to religion, which would nonetheless be acceptable to religions. In the
words of the sociologist Emile Durkheim, laïque morality should ‘seek to
capture the truth inherent in every religious or
the falsity of any
theory that contradicts it. It must itself occupy, that is, all the logical space that
its content requires. . . . A neutral utilitarian cannot say that there is no reason
in politicalmorality for rejecting or dishonouring [the Nazi’s] preference, for
not dismissing it as simply wrong, for not striving to fulfill it with all the dedication that officials devote to fulfilling any other sort of preference. For utilitarianism itself supplies such a reason: its most fundamental tenet is that people’s
preferences should be weighed on an equal basis in
. Recognition, however, seems at first sight to belong
to ethics, as it seems to require judgments about the value of various practices, traits, and identities. It is not surprising, therefore, that many deontological theorists simply reject claims for the recognition of difference as
violations of liberal neutrality, while concluding that distributive justice
exhausts the whole of politicalmorality. It is also unsurprising, conversely,
that many theorists of recognition align themselves with ethics against
morality; following the same reasoning as their liberal counterparts