Monday, November 24, 2003

Food books

This past weekend, I went to Chicago, I spoke for a little bit, and I nearly started hyperventilating in the book exhibits (So many books! So many anthropology books!! With a conference discount of 25% to 50%!!!).

I returned to Cleveland weighted down with lots of exciting reads, including ...

I can already tell you that Golden Arches East is a fascinating and fun book, and a worthy anthropological contribution (despite the fact that both the motives and the funding source were questioned when the contributors presented their findings at the 1994 AAA conference). Their argument? McDonald's, so often castigated as the quintessential global corporate behemoth stamping out local food variety and in general eliminating ethnocultural specificity, is in fact, taken up and transformed by both the East Asian consumers and the corporation into local institutions that reflect the unique socio-political context. In other words, going to Mickey D's in Ohio just ain't the same as going to Mai Dang Lao in Taipei.

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