Roberta Sassatelli
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The political morality of food
Discourses, contestation and alternative consumption

Anthropology and sociology have been keen to show that consumption is a social and moral field, and that consumer practices are part of an ongoing process of negotiation of social classifications and hierarchies. This chapter contends that the study of the arguments and discourses deployed to criticise or otherwise qualify consumption is important to the political morality of consumption. Moral discourses surrounding consumer practices are crucial to that process and should be studied as an important indicator of what it is to consume. Food consumption in particular has been associated with symbolically mediated notions of order. Alternative consumption may be taken to identify a bunch of heterogeneous practices and discourses, stretching across the developed world. Many forms of alternative consumption share some kind of interest in environmental values.

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