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The Usefulness of Social Class as a Concept with which to Understand Peoples Relationship with Food and Drink in Contemporary Society

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The effect of post-modernism will also be factored in to aid with further understanding of its effects on food habits. This multidimensional approach will be utilized to evaluate the usefulness of social class as a concept with which to understand peoples relationship with food and/or drink in contemporary society. According to the Marxist materialistic model, possession and non-possession have been implicated as intricate factors in the definition of a social class; that those with more material possessions by extension have got an elevated level of social class. Quite contrary to popular to popular beliefs, social class is not a factor of material possessions (Swartz, 1997: 163-164).

Various papers have created a link between the aspect of the social class and materialistic possessions but this is not the case (Sloan, 2004: 1-22). Others have looked to other non-economic aspects to define the concept of social class in a manner that shifts attention from the economic perspective. Social class can also be determined through the accumulation of a series of different forms of capital. When considered in light of economic terms, capital is considered the result of any activity that engages in production.

The results of these finished products are what for new resources for use in the production of other goods. This can be exemplified in the development of a food production industry that in turn leads to the processing of another form of food products. Hence both these products are different forms of capital even though they are both measures of social class (Sloan, 2004: 1-22). One type of capital (the finished products from the food processing plant) directly leads to capital gain while the other (the food processing plant) provides one with the knowledge to produce other goods (Sloan, 2004: 1-22).

This implied that capital is also considered in the form of a particular level of knowledge that one has about a particular product that enables them to produce other products.  

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