首页 | 学科·学界 | 社会现象 | 文章·争鸣 | 读书 | 学者家园 | 文献服务 | 数据服务 | 中心网刊 | Blog | WIKI | 网上调查 | 社会论坛
  当前位置:首页 >> 读书 >> Kitchens:The Culture of Restaurant Work >> 正文
分类导读
社会学
人类学
社会工作
社会科学综合
Preface

图书名称:Kitchens:The Culture of Restaurant Work
图书作者:Gary Alan Fine    ISBN:
出版社:Berkeley: University of California Press    出版日期:1996年

Eroticism is the most intense of passions while Gastronomy is the most extended. . . . Although both are made up of combinations and connections—bodies and substances—in Love the number of combinations is limited and pleasure tends to climax in an instant . . . while in Gastrosophy the number of combinations is infinite; pleasure, instead of tending toward concentration, tends to propagate and extend itself through taste and savoring.
—Octavio Paz


Gender roles ensnare us all. In the early years of my marriage, when my wife and I were graduate students, she did the housework. When, at last, we both obtained "real jobs," she insisted that I assume more responsibilities. Like many males who share household tasks, I chose those that permitted the most freedom, creativity, and personal satisfaction: I decided to learn to cook. Of all chores, cooking seemed least onerous. But, even so, that justification was not sufficient; I needed a rationale to avoid "wasting" time in the kitchen—transforming life into work, just as my work was leisure. As a sociologist interested in art, I could learn to cook and observe professional cooks, a group that had not been examined ethnographically. I cannily transformed household chores into professional engagement. My cooking skills expanded to where I enjoyed eating what I had cooked: no small achievement in view of those first hot, harsh evenings at the stove.

Finally I had learned enough that I would not be thought hopelessly and laughably inept if I shared space with professional cooks. At that point I took a giant step from my kitchen into the "real world" of the food production industry. I decided to learn how students learn and are taught to cook professionally. I received permission from two state-run technical-vocational institutes in the Twin Cities metropolitan area to observe their cooking programs. I was accepted, even welcomed. I attended one almost every day and became reasonably proficient in the skills that entry-level cooks must acquire, becoming socialized to the tricks of the trade. I developed a theory of the development of occupational aesthetics.

My experiences at these schools led to restaurant kitchens. I was welcomed cordially and hopefully, and I was given access that permitted me to explore organizational culture and structure, grounded in interactionist and interpretivist sociology. My informants were convinced that the world outside the kitchen walls did not understand their working conditions and did not appreciate their skills or the pressures and troubles they experienced. They believed that the public thought of them as drunken and loud, as bums. Most cooks were pleased that a fair academic outsider would tell the truth about them or would at least experience their working conditions.

It is widely accepted in the kitchens of academe that there is no one truth. While my views are my own, I hope to present one set of truths about cooks that will be close enough for them to recognize, even if I don't mirror what any one of them believes. I hope, like Paul Stoller (1989), to capture some of the sensory conditions of work and provide, to borrow his title, "the taste of ethnographic things," not among the distant Songhay of Niger but among the cooks of Minnesota.

My observations in trade school—collegiums bureaucrats now label "technical colleges," mirroring a desire to professionalize everything (Wilensky 1964)—taught me how the children of blue-collar workers become socialized to a career that demands knowledge of arenas of cultural capital ("taste") to which they have not been exposed. Yet, these data ended at the job market: what did these young men and women do when actually employed by an industrial organization? My observation of four restaurant kitchens allowed me to find out. In each restaurant I spent a month watching, taking notes, asking questions, and, when needed, stringing beans, washing potatoes, and performing minor chores. I was never a cook, but I was, occasionally, an empty pair of hands. In each setting described in the appendix, observations were supplemented by in-depth interviews.

As a matter of "field ethics," I ate those dishes that cooks graciously placed before me to demonstrate their culinary virtuosity, to celebrate my role in their community, and, perhaps, by forcing me to accept their hospitality, to make it more difficult to criticize them. I gained about ten pounds during each month that I spent observing. The two months' interval between each month of observations permitted me to acquire a critical perspective on the data and work myself into shape. Those scholars who choose research projects of which others dream must face a cordial professional jealousy; these collegial critics forget the long hours, the sweat, and the filth: it's a dirty job, but I challenged myself to do it.

Sociologists and friends assisted me in shaping this research by providing ideas, comments, criticism, or simply fellowship as I talked and ate. Specifically I thank Howard S. Becker, Harold Bershady, Charles Bosk, Terry Clark, George Dickie, Robert Faulkner, Priscilla Ferguson, William Finlay, Joseph Galaskiewicz, Wendy Griswold, Jay Gubrium, Hans Haferkamp, Janet Harris, Mark Haugan, Lori Holyfield, Thomas Hood, Sherryl Kleinman, Michal McCall, Richard Mitchell, Harvey Molotch, Richard Peterson, Charles Stevens, Robert Sutton, Doris Taub, Richard Taub, Graham Tomlinson, and John Young. I am grateful to colleagues at colloquia at Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago, the University of Georgia, and Emory University for challenging me on critical points. Pam Chase and Cathy Rajtar helped to transcribe the interviews quoted in this volume. Hilda Daniels, Gloria DeWolfe, and Clara Roesler helped in typing the manuscript, particularly before the time that I acquired word-processing skills. I am grateful to the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences for providing an environment in which I could complete this text, and grateful for financial support provided by National Science Foundation grant SBR-9022192. Warm appreciation is also due to my wife, Susan, and sons, Todd and Peter, for sometimes eating what I cooked. I am deeply grateful to Naomi Schneider and her colleagues at the University of California Press for providing a hospitable home for this volume.

As is customary and right, I reserve my special thanks for those individuals I cannot name, who let me intrude into their lives and kitchens. I hope that I have managed to capture a taste of their tasks and the environment in which they labor.

PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA
SEPTEMBER 1994

【字体: 】【打印】【关闭

附 件:


| 中心简介 | 网站介绍 | 版权声明 | 服务条款 | 站点导航 | 请您留言 | 网站地图 | RSS聚合资讯