Down Country Lanes, Behind Abandoned Houses

Down Country Lanes, Behind Abandoned Houses

Indexed in: Book Citation Index, Social Sciences & Humanities.

Based on six years of extended ethnography in multiple agricultural areas of the Eastern United States, Down Country Lanes, Behind Abandoned Houses is a monograph which explores the lives of migrant ...
[view complete introduction]

US $

*(Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Pp. 425-447 (23)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681081045115010013

Author(s): Keith V. Bletzer


This chapter reviews the literature on food and consumption, and explores “eating” as an under-publicized activity performed by men and women in agriculture. Responses from the last section of the Narrative Life Stories are examined, “When you think of sex, what food do you think of?” These responses reveal narrator viewpoints on a hypothetical relationship between food and sex that provide a glimpse at the economically precarious challenges regularly faced by farm workers. Workers in traveling on-the-season constantly re-constitute the imaginary community in which they live.

Exploring responses to the interview question shows how farm workers blend consumption of foods from cultural groups in the southern United States, emphasizing regional commonalities. Distinctions based on gender in contrast were found to be more noticeable as distinctive within the field materials.


Aphrodisiac, belonging, biological imperative, consumption, cultivation, derived pleasure, exchange practices, food distribution, food production, gendered distinctions, hunger dampening, imaginary community, invasive entry, marketed food, public representations, re-constitution, reproduction, sex drive, sexuality, sustainability.