Secret Ingredients: Race, Gender, and Class at the Dinner Table

By Jackson, Kathy Merlock | Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA), March 2007 | Go to article overview

Secret Ingredients: Race, Gender, and Class at the Dinner Table


Jackson, Kathy Merlock, Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA)


Secret Ingredients: Race, Gender, and Class at the Dinner Table Sherrie A. Inness. New York: Palgrave, 2006.

Sherrie A. Inness has emerged as a leading scholar in the areas of girls' culture and food culture. Her latest work, which explores the issues of race, gender, and class in American cooking, provides another substantive study in popular culture.

Inness notes that cookbooks, although important to readers and booksellers, have been marginalized by scholars, in part because of their connection to women; however, they are anything but trivial. As Inness observes, "Cookbooks and other cooking literature are rich, complex texts that reveal a great deal about society and its changing mores, not just culinary ones" (2). In particular, cookbooks, which are primarily written by and used by women, contain important messages regarding gender roles. Given this, Inness begins her study in the 1950s, coinciding with changes in women's lives in post-World War II society. She explains the connection between Betty Friedan's ground-breaking work, The Feminine Mystique (1963), and Peg Bracken's two popular cookbooks, The I Hate to Cook Book (1960) and Peg Bracken's Appendix to The I Hate to Cook Book (1966). These books underscore women's dissatisfaction with domestic life and dominant social values, which Friedan called "the problem that has no name." In The I Hate to Cook Book Bracken expressed with humor the same sentiment: "This book is for those of us who want to fold our big dishwater hands around a dry martini instead of a wet flounder, come the end of a long day" (qtd. in Inness 67). Bracken cautioned homemakers that they did not have to spend all day cooking but could prepare good meals quickly, often using convenience foods, and still have time for themselves and their other interests.

Inness also devotes an entire chapter to convenience foods, which changed the way Americans thought about cooking. Cooking literature encouraged women to use convenience foods so that they could be more modern, express their own creative desires, both in and out of the kitchen, and speed up preparation time so that they could do other things. According to Inness, "convenience food literature made it clear that women should develop their own interests; this was a small step toward second-wave feminism in the 1960s and 1970s, which emphasized that women had to cultivate themselves as individuals who possessed concerns other than purely domestic ones" (19). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Secret Ingredients: Race, Gender, and Class at the Dinner Table
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.