In the contemporary United States, sugary foods touch nerves and spark debate in many communities—particularly when they are provided to children in institutional contexts. Drawing on ethnographic research in an Atlanta, GA charter school, this article examines parent perspectives on the food choices that should be provided to children and the (un)desirability of vending machines at school. Parents' concerns about packaged honey buns and other contested foods express broader concerns about children's social and emotional development, their physical and psychological fitness for life in a market-saturated society, and nagging uncertainty about how parents and other adults may best nurture these.
The Real World in a Honey Bun
Jennifer Patico is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Georgia State University. She received her PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from New York University and is the author of Consumption and Social Change in a Post-Soviet Middle Class (2008). She has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Russia and the United States on consumption and everyday life, conceptions of class and gender, and post-Soviet/U.S. correspondence marriages. Currently, she is researching children’s food and parenting practices in Atlanta, GA.
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Jennifer Patico; The Real World in a Honey Bun. Gastronomica 1 August 2013; 13 (3): 42–46. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2013.13.3.42
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