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White bread bio-politics: purity, health, and the triumph of industrial baking


Bobrow-Strain, Aaron


Bitte beziehen Sie sich beim Zitieren dieses Dokumentes immer auf folgenden Persistent Identifier (PID):http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-231868

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Abstract This article traces the massive commodification and industrialization of the USA's single most important food: bread. It argues that bakers overcame serious obstacles to capitalist development during this period thanks to the construction of contingent and contested associations between industrial bread and larger discourses of purity, hygiene, and progress circulating through turn-of-the-century America. It explores two arenas in which this articulation operated: the re-making of baking as a techno-science of expert control and the visual spectacle of streamlined, white loaves. This story, in turn, offers larger lessons about the contradictory politics of food safety in our own time. Building on Michel Foucault's work on bio-politics, it shows how notions of food safety dependent on discourses of purity, contagion, hygiene, and vitality inevitably constitute lines of exclusion and social hierarchy, even as they are used to mobilize `progressive' social change.
Freie Schlagwörter Bio-politics; bread; commodification; food politics; food safety; Foucault; industrialization;
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2008
Seitenangabe S. 19-40
Zeitschriftentitel Cultural Geographies, 15 (2008) 1
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1474474007085783
Status Postprint; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)