Sweetness & Power
“meaning and power touch this time….”
“sugar was a monopoly of a privilege minority”
“In this perspective, sugar was the ideal substance…”
“Power” was sugar, being the ideal substance because its use provided many meanings, like what it meant to people and what people signaled by consuming it. These meanings were associated with differences like age, gender class, and profession.
People cannot make sugar but it can be used and changed. People use it in different ways. Mintz uses power to show the ability of this particular natural resource to influence, and its affects on people, desire (cultural), health, environment, capitalism and status.
-Mintz quotes sugar as a drug
-cultural meaning: attached to richness; relation of sugar consumption with power -sugar went from being a spice and medicinal to a sweetner; provided calorie energy to laborers -sugar demonstrated the power held within mass consumption (pg. 161, 185)
-Examination of the use of sugar in 5 ways: medicine, spice, decorative material, sweetner, and preservative, which show these “functions” are differentiated by its form and consumption (showing social and economic difference: age, sex, and class) –“the difference uses of sugar did not evolve in any neat sequence or progression, but overlapped and intersected; that sugar commonly serves more than one such purpose at a time is considered one of its extraordinary virtues” -the fact that “disentangling sugar’s various uses is is nearly impossible” makes it that much more powerful
it is so versatile
-sugar has many meanings and uses, but there really isn’t much choice…it’s constructed -consumers do not really think about what they are consuming -makes me think about the fact that we don’t have a lot of control over what we eat because most people do not pay attention to the sugar intake
Please join StudyMode to read the full document