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The Life of Cheese – Crafting Food and Value in America - California Scholarship Online
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The Life of Cheese: Crafting Food and Value in America

Heather Paxson


The Life of Cheese is an anthropological study of American artisan cheese and the people who make it. Telling the stories of individual cheesemakers, the book explores how craftwork has become a new source of cultural and economic value within American landscapes of production and consumption. Heather Paxson’s innovative study shows how dairy farmers and artisans inhabit a world in which their colleagues and collaborators are, at various times, plants, animals, microorganisms, family members, employees, and customers. Cheese is alive with meaning, but it is also alive with the activity of orga ... More

Keywords: American cheese, artisan cheesemaking, craft, value, unfinished commodity, food politics and ethics, economies of sentiment, ecologies of production, microbiopolitics, rural entrepreneurs, terroir taste

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780520270176
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2013 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520270176.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Heather Paxson, author