Sugar - Sidney MintzSidney Wilfred Mintz November 16, — December 27, was an American anthropologist best known for his studies of the Caribbean , creolization , and the anthropology of food. Mintz received his PhD at Columbia University in and conducted his primary fieldwork among sugar-cane workers in Puerto Rico. Later expanding his ethnographic research to Haiti and Jamaica, he produced historical and ethnographic studies of slavery and global capitalism, cultural hybridity, Caribbean peasants, and the political economy of food commodities. He taught for two decades at Yale University before helping to found the Anthropology Department at Johns Hopkins University , where he remained for the duration of his career. Mintz's history of sugar, Sweetness and Power , is considered one of the most influential publications in cultural anthropology and food studies. His father was a New York tradesman, and his mother was a garment-trade organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World.
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Mintz - Sweetness and Power
Studying a single food or commodity such as sugar may seem like an incongruous project for an anthropologist who claims to work mostly with living people. Still, it is a rich subject for someone interested in the history and character of the modern world, for its importance and popularity rose together with tea, colonial slavery, and the machine era. Had it not been for the immense importance of sugar in the world history of food, and in the daily lives of so many, I would have left it alone. Sugar, or sucrose C12H22O11 , is manufactured photosynthetically by green plants. We humans can't make sugar. The best we can do is to extract it, and change its form. We have been doing so zealously, for more than 2, years.
Sweetness pp Cite as. In the social psychology and the cultural anthropology of sweetness, one of the basic issues at stake is how individuals relate to pleasure and how their own society views that relationship. In most Western societies sweetness, in much the same way as sex, has raised the question of whether the pursuit of pleasure per se is socially and ethically acceptable. In recent decades the trend has been towards increasing tolerance of sexual pleasure, even when dissociated from reproduction. It may be seen as a paradox that, as far as pleasure from sweetness is concerned, there seems to have been comparatively less permissiveness. Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
Look Inside. Aug 05, ISBN A fascinating persuasive history of how sugar has shaped the world, from European colonies to our modern diets In this eye-opening study, Sidney Mintz shows how Europeans and Americans transformed sugar from a rare foreign luxury to a commonplace necessity of modern life, and how it changed the history of capitalism and industry. Finally, he considers how sugar has altered work patterns, eating habits, and our diet in modern times. Sidney W.