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Bitter and Sweet – Food, Meaning, and Modernity in Rural China - California Scholarship Online
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Bitter and Sweet: Food, Meaning, and Modernity in Rural China

Ellen Oxfeld


This book examines the value of food in rural China through an ethnographic study of a Hakka village in Meixian, a county in northeast Guangdong Province. By examining the role of food in the lives of one community, the book attempts to show how food in rural China is an essential building block of social relations and a source of value both within, but also beyond the market economy. It examines the role food plays in the organization of labor, the recollection and generational transfer of historical and personal memories, systems of exchange and relationships between humans, and between huma ... More

Keywords: China, Food and Culture, Rural China, Food in China, Dietary transition in China, Symbolic Value of Food, Modernity in China

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780520293519
Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2018 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520293519.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ellen Oxfeld, author
Middlebury College