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Food, Taste and Trends in Britain since the 1950s
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How have eating habits changed in recent decades? What does it mean to eat well?

This fascinating book examines continuity and change in food consumption and eating patterns since the 1950s. The culinary landscape of Britain is explored through discussion of commodification, globalisation and diversification enabling an understanding of both developing trends and enduring habits.

The author’s research undertaken over 40 years offers fresh insights into such practices as everyday meals, shopping, cooking and dining out and how these are shaped by demographic, social and cultural processes. The book provides a comprehensive and engaging analysis of eating in Britain today and of the many controversies about how this has changed.

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New Perspectives on Migration and Diversity
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Available Open Access digitally under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

It is increasingly recognised that ethnonational frameworks are inadequate when examining the complexity of social life in contexts of migration and diversity.

This book draws on ethnographic research in two UK secondary schools, considering the shifting roles of migration status, language, ethnicity, religion and precarity in young people’s peer relationships. The book challenges culturalist understandings of social cohesion, highlighting the divisive impacts of neoliberalism, from pervasive temporariness and domestic abuse to technologization and neighbourhood violence.

Using Martin Buber’s relational model, the book explores the interplay of ‘I-It’ boundary-making with reciprocal ‘I-Thou’ encounters, pointing to the creative power of these encounters to subvert, reimagine, and even transform social difference. The author provides a pragmatic and ultimately hopeful view of the dynamics of diversity in everyday life, offering valuable insights for social policy and practice.

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Approaching, Contextualizing, and Embodying Sense-Making Practices in Alternative Cultures

The concept of ‘subculture’ is an invaluable tool to frame the study of non-normative and marginal cultures for social and cultural scholars.

This international collection uncovers the significance of meaning-making in the processes of defining, studying and analyzing subcultural phenomena.

Examining various dimensions of interpretivism, the book focuses on overarching concerns related to interpretation as well as day-to-day considerations that affect researchers’ and members’ interpretations of subcultural phenomena. It reveals how and why people use specific conceptual frames or methods and how those shape their interpretations of everyday realities.

This is an unprecedented contribution to the field, explaining the interpretive processes through which people make sense of subcultural phenomena.

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Critical Perspectives on the Promise of Stories

At a time of contested realities and a renewed focus on the power of personal stories, narrative research is as relevant as ever. But while it has been praised for ‘giving voice’ to individuals and highlighting how they make sense of the social world, critics are starting to question which voices are being heard, or allowed to speak, and which experiences are made to count.

Supported by the editors’ popular podcast Narrative Now, this interdisciplinary volume addresses timely concerns about representation, power, voice, and the ethics of storytelling.

Contributors explore the capacities and limitations of narrative research, and map out new directions for the field while honouring its legacy.

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From Dystopia Back to Utopia

From fake news to infringement of privacy in digital spheres, the changing landscapes of media and public communication have completely transformed contemporary democracies in recent decades.

Disruptions of media functioning can be seen as evidence for a transition from democracy to post-democracy, but how plausible is this scenario? Using empirical evidence, the author asks how imminent the threat of the end of democracy is, and how it can be restored.

Exploring the creative and destructive ways individuals and groups make use of new digital and social media in democratic societies across the world, the book presents a much-needed critical theory of the public sphere as we enter the new digital age.

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Taste, Class and Domestic Food Practices
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Political and public stories about class and food rarely scrutinize how socio-economic and cultural resources enable access to certain foods.

Tracing the symbolic links between everyday eating at home and broader social frameworks, this book examines how classed relations play out in middle-class homes to show why class is relevant to all understandings of food in Great Britain.

The author illuminates how ‘good’ food, and the identities configured through its consumption, is associated with middle-class lifestyles and why this relationship is often unquestioned and thus saliently normalised.

Considering food consumption in a wider social context, the book offers an alternative understanding of class relations, which extends academic, political and public debates about privilege.

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The Auroville Experiment

Auroville in Tamil Nadu, South India, is an internationally recognised endeavour in prefiguring an alternative society: the largest, most diverse, dynamic and enduring of intentional communities worldwide.

This book is a critical and insightful analysis of the utopian practice of this unique spiritual township, by a native scholar. The author explores how Auroville’s founding spiritual and societal ideals are engaged in its communal political and economic organisation, as well as various cultural practices and what enables and sustains this prefiguratively utopian practice.

This in-depth, autoethnographic case-study is an important resource for understanding prefigurative and utopian experiments – their challenges, potentialities, and significance for the advancement of human society.

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Countermemories and Social Conflicts over the Past

Memory is at the center of a diverse array of political conflicts, moral disputes and power dynamics.

This book illustrates how scholars use different interpretive lenses to study and explain profound conflicts rooted in the past.

Addressing issues of racism, genocide, trauma, war, nationalism, colonial occupation and more, it highlights how our interpretations of contentious memories are indispensable to our understandings of contemporary conflicts and identities.

Featuring an international group of scholars, this book makes important contributions to social memory studies, but also shows how studying memory is vital to our understanding of enduring social problems that span the globe.

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A Feminist Analysis
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The Disney Princesses are a billion-dollar industry, known and loved by children across the globe.

Robyn Muir provides an exploratory and holistic examination of this worldwide commercial and cultural phenomenon in its key representations: films, merchandising and marketing, and park experiences. Muir highlights the messages and images of femininity found within the Disney Princess canon and provides a rigorous and innovative methodology for analysing gender in media.

Including an in-depth examination of each princess film from the last 83 years, the book provides a lens through which to view and understand how Disney Princesses have contributed to the depiction of femininity within popular culture.

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Between Meaning and Matter

Written by leading social scientists working in and across a variety of analytic traditions, this ambitious, insightful volume explores interpretation as a focal metaphor for understanding the body’s influence, meaning, and matter in society.

Interpreting body and embodiment in social movements, health and medicine, race, sex and gender, globalization, colonialism, education, and other contexts, the book’s chapters call into question taken-for-granted ideas of where the self, the social world, and the body begin and end.

Encouraging reflection and opening new perspectives on theories of the body that cut through the classic mind/body divide, this is an important contribution to the literature on the body.

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