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“I Don't Want to be Sexist But...”: Denying and Re-Inscribing Gender Through Food

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Abstract:

Reporting the results of semi-structured interviews with adults and teenagers in twentytwo urban and rural families in British Columbia, Canada, this paper explores how gendered divisions of food consumption continue to exist within a supposedly “non-sexist” ideological context. With a photo elicitation technique used to stimulate discussions of food and gender, investigators found that most interview participants reproduced stereotypically gendered categories of food and ate in typically gendered ways; they did so even as they resisted the naming of particular foods as gendered. We therefore argue that while food and foodways remain gendered, the denial of them, through a process we call “performing individualism,” strengthens gender inequality by allowing gender disparities to appear not as systematic instances of inequity but rather as isolated instances of “natural” tastes and personal choice.

Keywords: FOOD; GENDERING; INDIVIDUALISM; LIBERALISM; PERFORMATIVITY; PHOTO ELICITATION

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/175174412X13276629246046

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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