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ERIC Number: EJ890118
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jul
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-0092-055X
Stratification on the Menu: Using Restaurant Menus to Examine Social Class
Wright, Wynne; Ransom, Elizabeth
Teaching Sociology, v33 n3 p310-316 Jul 2005
This article chronicles the authors' effort to construct a pedagogical exercise to help students connect food consumption to social class membership through the analysis of restaurant menus. Similar to Albers and Bach's (2003) use of music as an element of popular culture, the authors use food to convey sociological concepts related to social class. This exercise was intended to bring popular culture into the classroom--to reproduce social relations through the coding of restaurant menus without the physical obstacles of transporting students into real-world settings. The goal was to help students appreciate how everyday, taken-for-granted institutions, such as restaurants, reveal social class differences and to develop the skills to identify those differences through the analysis of culturally representative artifacts. The authors also wanted to use the sociological analysis of menus to delve into the conflicting definitions of social class, specifically focusing on Marx's and Weber's ideas about social class. After accomplishing these goals, the authors found that their observations of menus became a launching point to discuss how differences can become structured inequalities affecting such areas as nutrition and health or cultural capital. (Contains 1 figure and 6 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A