Date of Award

2007

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work and Public Health

Major

Anthropology

First Advisor

Cheleen Mahar, Ph.D.

Abstract

Children face a constant barrage of advertising- at home, on sports fields, in playgrounds, on the street, and in school. Nationwide we are faced with rapidly increasing health problems in children, such as obesity. This study investigates how children understand the cultural constructions of food in consumer society through an ethnographic study of food and eating in public elementary schools. In my research I have focused on the effects of the new American foodways- the beliefs and behaviors surrounding the production, distribution, and consumption of foods- on children by examining how advertising in schools as well as how the food served in schools facilitates the development of food preference. This thesis asks the question “How do children understand the cultural constructions of food in consumer society, and how does their understanding effect their cultural identity?”

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