Dados vol. 29 n. 1 Rio de Janeiro 1986

A Comida, a Família e a Construção do Gênero Feminino

Woortmann, Klaas


The author starts with the assumption that a culture - the universe of representations of a group, social category or society -constitutes a system of nucleated categories of meaning, and that these categories generate "cultural texts" which may be "read" by the anthropologist. Food appears to be one such category. A reading of the notions surrounding food shows that it "speaks" about the family and women - among other things - in a language that seems to be one of honor and of purity/pollution. The classification of food is essentially a classifying of social beings. The analysis concentrates on the construction, at the representational level, of the paterfamilias and the feminine gender. In the case of the first, the relationship between food and work is given particular emphasis; in the second, attention is focused on the interrelationship between a "food theory" and a "theory of the human body". The author concludes that family is an ideological construction not to be confused with the domestic grouping, and that it can be approached from various starting points - food being one of these.

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A Comida, a Família e a Construção do Gênero Feminino