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Cooking for pleasure

Crabtree, Andy; Tolmie, Peter; Rouncefield, Mark


Peter Tolmie

Mark Rouncefield


Peter Tolmie

Mark Rouncefield


Cooking is a mundane feature of everyday life, done by people around the world as a matter of necessity and, for some at least, as the business of pleasure. It seems surprising therefore that food, eating and cooking has, at least until relatively recently (the 1980s), been largely neglected by Sociology (Beardsworth 1997; Murcott 1983). In anthropological analyses food has long featured in ritual and supernatural features of consumption ((Crowley 1980 (1921); Richards 1932) as well as in Levi-Strauss’ famous culinary triangle – the raw, the cooked and the rotten. For Levi-Strauss (1970) food practices in general, including cooking, represent a primary binary opposition in society between ‘nature’ and ‘culture’ and also contribute to other oppositions such as ‘the raw and the cooked’ such that cooking represents a cultural transformation of the ‘raw’ and, thereby, defines culture. Where cooking and eating has featured in sociological analysis it is often as an instantiation of some wider social process, such as the ‘civilising process’ (Elias 1969), or class and social structure (Goody 1982) or patriarchy and the subjection of women (Charles and Kerr 1988; Murcott 1983). As Charles and Kerr suggest; ‘Food practices can be regarded as one of the ways in which important social relations and divisions are symbolized, reinforced and reproduced on a daily basis’. The ‘turn to consumption’ has, not surprisingly, surfaced some interest in food and more recently food (especially ‘fast food’) and eating has featured as part of an analysis of the ‘McDonaldization of society’ (Ritzer 2008) or as part of a discussion of societal obsessions with body shape (Coveney 2006; Short 2006).

Publication Date Oct 22, 2013
Deposit Date Nov 26, 2018
Book Title Ethnomethodology at play
Chapter Number 1
ISBN 9781409437550
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