Home Sweat Home: Perspectives on Housework & Modern Relationships

Home Sweat Home

Home Sweat Home: Perspectives on Housework & Modern Relationships
edited by Elizabeth Patton and Mimi Choi

TX 147 .H747 2014

“In this volume, essays collected by Elizabeth Patton and Mimi Choi argue that an in-depth examination of media images of housework from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century is long overdue. Modern depictions often imply that certain concerns can be resolved through excessive domesticity, reflecting some of the complicated and unfinished issues of second-wave feminism. Home Sweat Home: Perspectives on Housework and Modern Relationships reveals how widespread the cultural image of “perfect” housewives and the invisibility of household labor were in the past and remain today.

Contributors explore the construction of women as homemakers and the erasure of household labor from the middle-class home in popular representations of housework. They concentrate on such matters as the impact of second-wave feminism on families and gender relations; of popular culture – especially in film, television, magazines, and advertising – on our views of what constitutes home life and gender relations; and of changing views of sexuality and masculinity within the domestic sphere.

Home Sweat Home will interest students and scholars of gender, cultural, media, and communication studies; sociology; and American history and appeal to anyone curious about housework, gender relations, and popular culture.” – publisher description


American Wasteland

American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It) by Jonathan Bloom

HD 9005 .B654 2010

“After reading American Wasteland, you will never look at your grocery list, dinner plate, or refrigerator the same way again.

The story of food waste takes you to the lettuce mountains of Salinas, into the buffet line of a chain restaurant, behind the scenes at the local grocery store, and within the average household to reveal how and why almost half of the food produced in the United States goes uneaten.

At  the same time, households are struggling with rising food costs.  Food banks are straining to supply the growing number of hungry Americans, and we’re unsure how we’ll feed the world’s mounting population.  And producing food increasingly impacts the environment.  Yet the remedy for all of these problems may be simpler than imagined.

Traveling from farm to fork, Jonathan Bloom wades into the garbage heap to unearth what our squandered food says about us, why it’s so important – and how you can make a difference starting in your own kitchen.  Interviews with experts such as chef Alice Waters, food psychologist Brian Wansink, and Novel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen, among many others, dig up not only how and why we waste, but, most importantly, what we can do about it.” – publisher description

*You can also check out Bloom’s blog: www.wastedfood.com*

The Monster Within: The Hidden Side of Motherhood

The Monster Within: The Hidden Side of Motherhood by Barbara Almond

HQ 759 .A436 2010

“Whether they involve uncertainty over having a child, fears of pregnancy and childbirth, or negative thoughts about one’s own children, mixed feelings about motherhood are not just hard to discuss, they are a powerful social taboo.  In this beautifully written book, Barbara Almond draws on her extensive clinical experience to bring this troubling issue to light.  In a compelling portrait of the hidden side of contemporary motherhood, she finds that ambivalence of varying degrees is a ubiquitous phenomenon but one that often causes anxiety, guilt, and depression.  Weaving together case histories with rich examples from literature and popular culture, Almond describes a spectrum of maternal behavior – from normal feelings to highly disturbed mothering characterized by blame, misuse, abuse, and even child murder.  To a society in which perfection in parenting is an unattainable ideal, this compassionate book offers prescriptions for relief by showing women how they can effect positive change in their lives.” – publisher description

Building a Housewife’s Paradise

Building a Housewife’s Paradise: Gender, Politics, and American Grocery Stores in the Twentieth Century by Tracey Deutsch

HF 5469.23 .U62 D48 2010

“Supermarkets are a mundane feature in the landscape, but as Tracey Deutsch reveals, they represent a major transformation in the ways that Americans feed themselves.  In her examination of the history of food distribution in the United States, Deutsch demonstrates the important roles that gender, business, class, and the state played in the evolution of American grocery stores.

Deutsch’s analysis reframes shopping as labor and embeds consumption in the structures of capitalism.  The supermarket, that icon of postwar American life, emerged not from straightforward consumer desire for low prices and convenience, Deutsch argues, but through government regulations, women customers’ demands, and retailers’ concerns with financial success and control of the “shop floor.”

Until the 1920s, food procurement was understood to be difficult and time consuming.  Women shoppers made countless demands on retailers as they balanced families’ needs and resources with marketplace offerings.  Over the next few decades, business analysts and politicians came to perceive food shopping as pleasurable and easy, requiring large stores with streamlined product distribution in which shoppers had little individual authority.  Although in practice food shopping remained hard work, by the 1960s and 1970s both critics and proponents of consumer society held up supermarkets as symbols of the apolitical, passive, unlimited reach of mass consumption.  Women shoppers’ demands for personal attention did not end, but they became less visible and often less successful.

From small neighborhood stores to huge corporate chains, Deutsch traces the charged story of the origins of contemporary food distribution, connecting topics as varied as everyday food purchases, the sales tax, and ideologies of domesticity.  Over the course of the twentieth century, women’s adherence to store policy emerged as central to the everyday workings of mass retail and to the emergence of a consumption-oriented political economy.  Demonstrating connections between women’s work and the history of capitalism, Deutsch locates the origins of supermarkets in the politics of twentieth-century consumption.” – publisher description

Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States

Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States by Andrew Coe

TX 724.5 .C5 C64 2009

“In 1784, passengers on the ship Empress of China became the first Americans to land in China, and the first to eat Chinese food. Today there are over 40,000 Chinese restaurants across the United States–by far the most plentiful among all our ethnic eateries. Now, in Chop Suey Andrew Coe provides the authoritative history of the American infatuation with Chinese food, telling its fascinating story for the first time.

It’s a tale that moves from curiosity to disgust and then desire. From China, Coe’s story travels to the American West, where Chinese immigrants drawn by the 1848 Gold Rush struggled against racism and culinary prejudice but still established restaurants and farms and imported an array of Asian ingredients. He traces the Chinese migration to the East Coast, highlighting that crucial moment when New York “Bohemians” discovered Chinese cuisine–and for better or worse, chop suey. Along the way, Coe shows how the peasant food of an obscure part of China came to dominate Chinese-American restaurants; unravels the truth of chop suey’s origins; reveals why American Jews fell in love with egg rolls and chow mein; shows how President Nixon’s 1972 trip to China opened our palates to a new range of cuisine; and explains why we still can’t get dishes like those served in Beijing or Shanghai. The book also explores how American tastes have been shaped by our relationship with the outside world, and how we’ve relentlessly changed foreign foods to adapt to them our own deep-down conservative culinary preferences.”–publisher description.

Food and Cooking in Victorian England: A History

by Andrea Broomfield

TX 717 .B754 2007

“Nine recipes serve as entry points for detailing the history of food production, cooking, and diet throughout Queen Victoria’s reign in England.  More than that, however, Broomfield offers an introduction to the world of everyday dining, food preparation, and nutrition during one of the most interesting periods of English history.” — book jacket