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You are what you eat: Food as a lens into identity

As a sociologist interested in farming identities, my focus has always been on those working with the crops or animals that end up on our plates. It’s not until recently that I’ve started to explore the interconnections of the food supply chain. Food stuffs can be evocative of memories, and storytelling around these parts of culture have become a research method to bring issues that matter to life. The Sociological Imagination   points to a particular way of thinking that facilitates an understanding of the social world, for example by taking an object and examining its significance in context, whether that be for society at large or from a personal perspective. Indeed, sociology connects these two aspects and examines the relationship between them. It dawned on me in preparing for a recent ‘show and tell’ conference session about food, that that was exactly what we were doing. I chose a bag of British sugar for my show and tell. It dawned on me that this seemingly insignificant cupb

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