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From the rise of Nordic noir to a taste for street food, from practices of natural gardening to the aesthetics of children's TV, contemporary culture is saturated with racial meanings. By consuming race we make sense of other groups and cultures, communicate our own identities, express our needs and desires, and discover new ways of thinking and being.
This book explores how the meanings of race are made and remade in acts of creative consumption. Ranging across the terrain of popular culture, and finding race in some unusual and unexpected places, it offers fresh and innovative ways of thinking about the centrality of race to our lives.
Consuming Race provides an accessible and highly readable overview of the latest research and a detailed reading of a diverse range of objects, sites and practices. It gives students of sociology, media and cultural studies the opportunity to make connections between academic debates and their own everyday practices of consumption.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Theorizing Racial Consumption 3. Ethnic Appropriateness: White Nostalgia and Nordic Noir 4. Engaging Whiteness: Black Nerds 5. The Taste of Race: Authenticity and Food Cultures 6. Race and Children: From Anthropomorphism to Zoomorphism 7. Animals and Plants: Natural Gardening and Non-Native Species 8. Stories about Race: Knowledge and Form. Conclusion
Ben Pitcher is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Westminster, London. He has written extensively on race and racism, and in the area of cultural studies. He is author of The Politics of Multiculturalism (2009).
Consuming Race will be of enormous use and value to students and researchers of race and ethnicity in all areas of culture. It is clear and incisive, yet well theorised and rigorous, and it insists on and lays out a powerful argument: no matter how much we might want to hope, believe or fantasise otherwise, race will not go away. Race is always going to be a central topic to any serious consideration of media, culture and society, and Pitcher's book offers a clear and engaging set of readings of race, drawn from many areas of mainstream popular culture and our daily lives. - Dr Paul Bowman, Director of Postgraduate Research, Journalism Media and Cultural Studies School, Cardiff University
Consuming Race draws our attention to the ways race finds its way into even the most banal aspects of everyday consumer life. Highly readable, patient, thorough, and complex, the book reveals (old) even as it creates (new) articulations. Defining its terms in a most clear and informed manner, the book emphasizes the presence of race wherever capital flows. - Kent A. Ono, Professor and Chair of Communication, University of Utah
This well-written book shows that everyone is surrounded by race, and that people produce and distribute racial meanings through their consumptive behaviors. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All academic levels/libraries.-Y. Kiuchi, Michigan State University, CHOICE Review, November 2014
If you want to read an innovative and thought-provoking outlook into racial consumption, you can (and should) get your hands onto a copy of Consuming Race. — Thomas Teekens, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands, Cultural Sociology