This chapter 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. It describes a brief history of the development of the halal market from its origins in France, taking the region of Bordeaux as an example, and shows that the Muslim authorities took very little part in that development. The chapter also suggests that the end-consumer, through the retailer, possesses control over the definition of the halal quality of meat. One of the factors accounting for the rapid establishment of halal butchers is certainly the absence of pork. For the anthropologist Mohammed Benkheira, the pork prohibition is so well internalised in Maghrebi Muslims that it must be distinguished qualitatively from the alcohol prohibition.
How African-Americans shape their collective identity through consumption
Virág Molnár and Michèle Lamont
This chapter analyses how African Americans use consumption to express collective identity. It considers ‘group identification’ and ‘social categorisation’ through interviews conducted with black marketing experts who specialise in the African-American market place. The marketing experts are viewed both as individual consumers and as members of an occupational group that is built on increasing the importance of consumption in creating individual social identities. They argue that for African Americans, the formation of collective identity is centred on defining their place in U.S. society, finding ways through consumption behaviour to demonstrate social membership. Furthermore, the concepts of group identification and social categorisation improve our understanding of the meaning of consumption for this group. The role of the marketing specialists is found to have a crucial role in defining what it means to belong in black society in terms of defining the space of black consumption itself and also in shaping the wider public's perceptions of blacks through intermediaries such as the advertising industry. This chapter also discusses consumer discrimination and the racialisation of consumption.
This chapter examines the ways by which the new social democracy (NSD) seeks to secure and enforce the principles of community, meritocracy, reciprocity and inclusion. It suggests that suggest that the NSD is congruent with a kind of globally-oriented state that possesses both conservative and social democratic features. This chapter also discusses New Labour's efforts to perpetuate a so-called security state, which has not replaced the welfare state but has transformed the discourse of rights into duties, equality into inclusion and collective problems into individual pathologies.
This chapter emphasises the theories and critiques of different postcolonial theorists such as Robert Young, Edward Said, Homi Bhabha and Gayatri Spivak. What outlines its elements are Robert Young's intercession against Parry, the assumptions about power and intellectual authority written into his language use, and the implications of these for postcolonial critical dialogue and analysis. The chapter contrasts Young's summary dismissal of Parry's work and politics with his serious description of, and respectful engagement with, the Marxist anti-postcolonial work of Indian critic Aijaz Ahmad, to observe the ways in which South Africa and its products may somehow license metropolitan critics to depart from their general intellectual standards of assessment, and from their rigorously academic modes of operation. Young's insistent emphases on nationality and ethnicity as determinants in the political identity of Parry and Spivak have no corollary in a national or ethnic self-description.
A cognitive perspective
This chapter describes that food quality 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. It explores economic theories of quality, and of the central dilemmas addressed by these, especially in relation to food quality. The diversification of food services and of food items in the marketplace rests on an increasingly complex circulation and mixing of ingredients. The chapter develops a different approach, arguing that a broader perspective is necessary to meet the challenge of heterogeneity and change to understand how shared cognitive integrations, embracing producers, intermediaries and consumers, is essential to the constitution of food quality. It describes the social process of qualification as a dynamic one, in which quality conflicts and quality hybridisation are central features of global food markets, provisioning and consumption.
Edited by: Mark Harvey, Andrew McMeekin and Alan Warde
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.
This chapter discusses the differences between productivism and post-productivism in relation to social democracy. It shows that while post-productivism does not abandon the aims of increases in growth, productivity and well-being, it does recontextualise them in terms of what are called reproductive values. These values refer to the ecological and social conditions of a productive economy or conditions which that economy is increasingly unable to replenish. This chapter highlights the role of ecowelfare in guiding social democracy in the direction of a post-employment society.
A multidisciplinary perspective
This chapter examines how consumption fits into ‘evolutionary’ models of economic development. When only the supply side of growth is looked at in the presence of market satiation, both product and process innovations are complementary preconditions for sustainable economic growth. Without the introduction of new products, an increasing share of resources would remain unemployed. Neoclassical theory finds thinking about the case of consumer goods novelty particularly difficult, because the adoption of only a subset of new commodities can only be reconciled with an assumption of given preferences. Thus a critical question is how preferences for new commodities come into being, how new goods are adopted. This chapter explores the thinking on this topic of a number of writers, from a range of disciplines, including neoclassical economists, psychologists, and socio-biologists. It concludes that biological and psychological perspectives, fitted into frameworks of evolutionary economics, have much to tell us about the formation of preferences, and economists should be open to such diverse approaches if they are to understand the relationship between innovation and demand.
Cultural readings of race, imperialism and transnationalism
This book analyses black Atlantic studies, colonial discourse analysis and postcolonial theory, providing paradigms for understanding imperial literature, Englishness and black transnationalism. Its concerns range from the metropolitan centre of Conrad's Heart of Darkness to fatherhood in Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk; from the marketing of South African literature to cosmopolitanism in Achebe; and from utopian discourse in Parry to Jameson's theorisation of empire.
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. This chapter contends that the study of the arguments and discourses deployed to criticise or otherwise qualify consumption is important to the political morality of consumption. Moral discourses surrounding consumer practices are crucial to that process and should be studied as an important indicator of what it is to consume. Food consumption in particular has been associated with symbolically mediated notions of order. Alternative consumption may be taken to identify a bunch of heterogeneous practices and discourses, stretching across the developed world. Many forms of alternative consumption share some kind of interest in environmental values.