Food and Drink – The Cultural Context

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This is the first publication in the Oxford Gastronomica series. Oxford Gastronomica is a specialist centre for the study of food, drink and culture within the Oxford School of Hospitality Management at Oxford Brookes University. It is an open and accessible organisation, bringing together the public, academics, students, food industry professionals, and those working in the creative arts.

Format: Digital

ISBN: 978-1-908999-03-0 hardback; 978-1-908999-04-7 paperback


Food and Drink – The Cultural Context explores the complex relationships between food and drink, and individuals and society. It provides analysis of social conditions that shape these relationships and examine their consequences in areas such as the distinctiveness of cultures, national pride, the cohesiveness of communities and personal and collective identity. By focusing on specific aspects of social conditioning, including class, politics, ethics, cultural homogenisation, urban development, migration, literature, and travel, it explains the emergence of dominant patterns of food and drink production, supply and consumption. It also explores representations of food and drink in the arts, to assess what this reveals about aspects of our food and drink cultures.

With international contributions (Australia, UK, France, Romania, Thailand, USA) from well-known and respected academics and practitioners, it provides a combination of theoretical enquiry and practical insight to explore aspects of consumer behaviour, with specific reference to trends in taste, products that are environmentally and culturally sustainable, food and wine tourism, the growth in reliance on standardised and processed products, and the use of restaurants and bars as theatres for conspicuous consumption and the display of adopted lifestyles.

It contains a wealth of high quality contributions including:

  • The Declining Importance of Cultural Context by George Ritzer & Anya Galli, University of Maryland;
  • Food Ethics by Rebecca Hawkins, Oxford Brookes University;
  • Food of the Scattered People by Jessica Harris, City University of New York;
  • Truffles and Radishes: food and wine at the opera by Fred Plotkin, opera and food writer;
  • Embedding Food and Drink Cultures by Benoit Lecat, Burgundy School of Business;
  • A collection of case studies from respected writers and broadcasters including Ken Hom, Geraldene Holt, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Charles Campion and many more.

Essential reading for post graduates, academics, professionals and all those interested in gastronomy, food and cultural studies, wine business management, hospitality management and all related areas of study.