Food as dialogue: The cultural politics of dietary reform

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(Thesis) M.A.
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Over the past decade, there has been a turn toward food as a site of political action. While humans have always had a strained relationship with food, this recent shift has resulted in a palpable tension around everyday food choice. This paper looks at why we’ve chosen food as a site for enacting massive socio-economic and political change. I use feminist body studies, postcolonial theory and cultural theory to critique the idea of regimented eating and explore how food is used as a mode of communication. I assert that dietary practices are discursive and therefore never politically neutral: they order the world in particular ways and have the power to sustain social relations and endorse hierarchies. With this in mind, I argue for food as a site of social change with some important caveats inspired by eco-feminist philosophers who reject absolute notions of what it means to be good.
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