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Paper Topic:

Sweetness and Power : the place of sugar in modern history by Sidney W. Mintz.

People who believed they would benefit from greater consumption effected political changes to make this happen The tax system changed to allow greater production as well as importing sugar from non-British sources . The final chapter , Eating and Being suggests that sugar became important not only because people like sweetness but for symbolic reasons . Having functioned as a sign of privilege , sugar became a sign of how society changes , so that when the first Englishman put sugar in his tea , he prefigured the transformation of an entire society (214 . Capitalism opens up markets

br and makes what was once available to the few the choice of the many

Interested in the growth of capitalism , Mintz cites Karl Marx (55 65 He clearly accepts that class plays a role in economics . He argues that those who exercise power control how markets develop . However , he is not a Marxist and implies that the growth of capitalism led to more freedom for more people , which is the opposite of Marxist thought . Sugar once symbolized privilege . Due to capitalism , sugar consumption spread to the non-elite , for whom it took on new meanings . This corresponded with other significant changes : heightened consumption of . sucrose was the direct consequence of deep alterations in the lives of working people , which made new forms of foods and eating conceivable . like new schedules of work , new sorts of labor , and new conditions of daily life (181 . For the working class , sugar seemed to ease the changes back and forth between work and rest . provided swifter sensations of fullness or satisfaction ' and combined easily with other foods (186 . As a social scientist , he is interested in processes , meaning how power is exercised but does not pass moral judgment on what he describes . His methodology centers on understanding the role of power ' in creating...

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