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Eating TogetherFood, Friendship, and Inequality$
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Alice P. Julier

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037634

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037634.001.0001

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Sweetening the Pot

Sweetening the Pot

The Shifting Social Landscape of Sociable Meals

(p.104) 4. Sweetening the Pot
Eating Together

Alice P. Julier

University of Illinois Press

This chapter begins with a discussion of a dinner party attended by the author to highlight the complexity of social events with food when all the rigid rules of dinner parties are not applicable or desired. For many reasons, the majority of people's social events do not fit into those formal templates, so they must “invent” new ways of doing this. But in doing so, all modifications are fraught with new rules and new ways of negotiating a shared understanding of what is appropriate, what tastes good, and what makes both hosts and guests feel “comfortable,” appreciated, and connected to each other. It argues that the path to intimacy and closeness is not as free of constraints as the ideology of friendship suggests. In fact, people intentionally use these events to create bounded groups whose similarities exclude others.

Keywords:   dinner parties, food, social life, social events, etiquette, social behavior, friendship

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