Date of Award

6-9-2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. George Pullman

Abstract

Food choice has intrigued generations of scholars seeking insight into the rituals that characterize the cultural and sub-cultural values of various nations and eras. Among the more recent cultural phenomena to influence theories about the body is food choice. Perhaps there is no argumentative issue more pervasive than that of food choice, because everyone must eat. The morsels that people consume are chosen as often as not for their symbolic value. A review of the literature of dietary discourse and representation reveals a gap where studies of vegetarian and vegan identity, mass media, and mass markets are concerned. This dissertation utilizes theories of representation, cultural studies, and discourse analysis to uncover culturally specific attitudes in the marketing of food with regard to vegetable-based diets, the foods that they consist of, and the people who eat them.

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