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Kitchens: The Culture of Restaurant Work Paperback – December 2, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0520257924 ISBN-10: 0520257928 Edition: Updated with a New Preface

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Kitchens: The Culture of Restaurant Work + Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul's School (Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology)
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In contrast to recent behind-the-scenes narratives describing the realities of the restaurant business (e.g., Irene Daria's Lutece: A Day in the Life of America's Greatest Restaurant, LJ 11/15/93), Kitchens is social analysis. Sociologist Fine (Talking Sociology, Allyn & Bacon, 1989) uses the "negotiated order" approach, coupled with a methodology of interviewing and participant observation, to examine how internal and external interrelationships have created the current food industry?including its workers, organization, economics, and aesthetics. While written in an accessible style with a cogent introduction and helpful summaries at the end of each chapter, this ethnography will probably be most useful to those with a knowledge of or an interest in sociology. Nevertheless, the descriptions of the interplay between the micro and macro?kitchen work vs. market demands?make for fascinating reading and a more critical understanding of this cultural force.?Wendy Miller, Lexington P.L., Ky.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Oozes with first-hand accounts of pranks and mishaps. . . . Fine’s book entertains as it enlightens.”
(North By Northwestern 2009-10-30)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; Updated with a New Preface edition (December 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520257928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520257924
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #470,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Toby A. Ten Eyck on August 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
There are two reasons to read this book. First, Fine offers an in-depth analysis of the restaurant kitchen life by studying four restaurant kitchens in the St.Paul-Minneapolis area. In a society which is enamored with eating out, this can help us understand what really takes place behind closed doors. Fine has taken the time to understand the kitchen life through the study of the trials and tribulations of chefs, as well as enrolling in cooking classes at a vocational college to understand the training process that many of these individuals have experienced. Second, Fine offers an in-depth analysis of organizations through his study of these restaurants. While this is often lost on those not steeped in the social sciences, scholars interested in the study of organizations and/or the symbolic interaction approach will find it both entertaining and challenging to follow, interpret, and critique this perspective. Overall, this is a lively read that is hard to put down.
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