Food Ritual Observance - A Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Take trail mix... It is an energetic, "idealized" snack food. This comes primarily from the target populations the manufacturer focuses it is marketing. Other channels for influence include consumers looking for "quick" fixes, such as families looking for fast and fun food. It would be interesting to explore the link marketing of "fast" snack products such as this have on families with young children, and compare this with the influence the product had on the political and behavioral habits and beliefs of the college students consuming it.

Lastly, symbolic systems help us better understand how products are systematically introduced and marketed to consumers. This helps shapes attitudes and beliefs. Also important to note however, as learned in class, is whether societies tend to accept or reject certain items even if marketed well. For example, Roark (2007) noted that in many cultures certain foods or animals are taboo. Consider for a moment what influence this might have on the General Mills snack market, if trail mix or energy and convenience foods were considered "taboo." Given this, one might assume that no matter the types of advertising or merchandising the manufacturer engaged in, it is likely that the product would ultimately fail.

What this field study revealed was that a complex combination of factors influences human behavior and culture. Interactions, behaviors, food selections and economic choices made by manufacturers to produce food products are all impacted by an integrated system. Symbolic relationships exist between all of these components. For an ethnographer to truly understand the meaning of behavior and cultural beliefs, he or she must examine the influence of an object, such as food, in not just one context, but in many contexts. Anthropologists can truly come to understand the history of a culture, and changes globalization and other factors have on the culture being examined when they do this.

A found most interesting about this study the first part of the assignment, the ritualistic food observations. In this setting, given the limited number of participants, it is difficult to judge whether the behaviors demonstrated were unique to students, or behaviors that are deeply ingrained and the result of gender or even biologically-based factors.

To help better understand the patterns of behavior I observed, including the seeming "patriarchal" hierarchy of conversation and behaviors noticed I would have to observe the same students in multiple settings. Some questions to ask might include, "How would the females interact in a group of their peers, women only?" Also interesting would be an assessment of whether behaviors and interactions changed when group members met, conversed and ate with their family members compared with their peers. It is likely under these different environments I would notice distinct changes in behavior, though it is possible behaviors would remain the same. This would suggest that behaviors are more deeply ingrained than I initially believed.

The research conducted in class suggests that while subtle differences may be present in different social settings, largely people tend to act and react in similar ways if brought up in similar cultures. Given this, I might assume that gender does indeed play a significant role on one's actions and behaviors. Secondary to this would be the influence of economical or political factors, including commodity chain analysis or the manner in which producers marketed and packaged their products to sell to consumers.

This study has helped me better understand how ethnographic analysis is conducted, and how influential field work assignments can be to understanding complex human behaviors and the interplay between behavior, societal norms and even environmental factors.


Chex Mix Peanut Lovers" Taquitos.Net (2007), Reviewed 7, June, 2007:

Coen Flynn, Karen. Food, Culture, and Survival in an African City, New York,

NY: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005.

Cimini, M.H. Food Processing Pacts. Monthly Labor Review, 113.7, 1990:53.

Finnegan F. & Co. SEC Info General Mills Inc. - 10-K405 for 5/27/2001, Retrieved 7, June, 2007:

Gereffi, G. & Korzeniewicz, M. Commodity Chains and Global Capitalism, Westport:

Praeger Publishers: 1994.

Roark, Kendall. Introduction to Anthropology: Understanding Cultural Diversity and Cultural Anthropology (food and globalization focus). Drexel University, Spring: 2007.

Wallerstein, Immanuel. Protection Networks and Commodity Chains in the Capitalist


Field Work

Producer Trail Mix - Chex Trail Mix, General Mills - Role R&D, Packaging. Incorporated DE 1928, manufactures and markets consumer food products (Finnegan & Co, 1997).

Private Intermediary - Keith and Melissa, Price Chopper, Worcester Massachusetts, discovered peanut lovers Chex mix

Processing Plant - Main plant is located at General Mills, Inc. GM supports 4,000+ production workers (Cimini 1990). Finds raw materials on open market through contracts with suppliers.

Local Exporter - Totino's and 20 production facilities located throughout the states.

Merchandiser, Sales Representatives Distribute Chex Mix to Retail Outlets

Retailer, Including Major Food Chains (Giant, Safeway) and Independent Retailers (on campus stores, gas stations and convenience marts)

Consumer purchases Mix (in this…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Food Ritual Observance - A" (2007, June 08) Retrieved October 22, 2016, from

"Food Ritual Observance - A" 08 June 2007. Web.22 October. 2016. <>

"Food Ritual Observance - A", 08 June 2007, Accessed.22 October. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Food Reserve Non Profit Organization Feasibility Study Analysis

    Food Reserve Non-Profit Organization Feasibility Study Analysis Food Reserve is a non-profit food bank service organization that will provide grocery items to assist residents of Cincinnati, Ohio. Food Reserve has the goal is end hunger in Cincinnati by seeking, gathering, growing, and putting together food packages that will be distributed using a network of similar service organizations, and programs that offer aid to targeted populations in need. The services offered by

  • Food Journal My Food Journal Can Be

    Food Journal My food journal can be used as an anthropological tool, highlighting a number of different facets of my life. My background is that I am half-Turkish and half-Saudi, but grew up in Paris. So I have been exposed to a number of different types of food. I went through a period where I was unable to cook for myself, since I had no kitchen, but eventually I moved into

  • Ritual Knowledge Is Transmitted in

    Furthermore, under most circumstances, these variations in Muslim belief do not have a negative impact on how Muslims interact; instead, they manage to live peacefully side-by-side in most settings. This may have to do with the idea that all Muslims believe that the Quran (Qur'an, Koran) is the holy text for Muslims. They believe that the Quran reflects the word of God. "For Muslims, the text of the Koran

  • Rituals Are Considered to Be a Set

    Rituals are considered to be a set of actions that are performed, not for the actions themselves, but rather for the actions symbolic value. What determines the actions or rituals may include traditions, religion, and/or the community in which the ritual takes place. Moreover, any number of activities or events can be incorporated into a ritual. According to Kyriakidis (2007), the term ritual is actually the phraseology used by someone

  • Ethnic Observances Recognize the Contributions

    Women's history month calls attention to the contributions of women to military life in the United States. Similarly, National Disability Employment Awareness reminds all personnel that a person's disability does not define them, any more than a person's gender or ethnicity does. Women's History month, African-American History Month, and National Disability Employment Awareness remind military personnel about how some members of society had been systematically excluded and discriminated against

  • A Rod and Baseball on September 11 1985

    A-Rod and Baseball On September 11, 1985 Pete Rose struck base hit number 4, 192, and in doing so made baseball history, surpassing Ty Cobb as the all-time hits leader. Little did fans or those in baseball realize that Rose's accomplishment occurred while he was betting on baseball in most cases betting on his own team. Commissioner of baseball A. Bartlett Giamatti presented Rose with substantive evidence collected by John M.

  • A Brief Overview of Johnson s

    The tactic backfired on him as Northern Republicans viewed with hostility his interest in reconciling fast and returning the south to viability. Bitter northerners felt this denoted a suspect allegiance and brutally attacked his policies, especially his effort to create a cabinet more sympathetic to his interest in reconciliation. By outcome, his opponents amongst northern republicans struck preemptively. "Sensing vulnerability, Congress moved against Johnson by passing the Tenure of Office Act, which limited Johnson's ability to

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved