Aarhus Universitetsforlag

Sugar and Modernity in Latin America

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

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172 sider ill.
ISBN 978 87 7124 110 5

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Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other diseases related to modern lifestyles have spread with frightening speed all over the globe, a development that is often correlated with an increase in the consumption of sugar. Latin America - the cradle of the world's sugar production - is no exception; it has witnessed an explosion of cases of diabetes, especially in Brazil and Mexico. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to the problem, this book asks two questions. First, what are the relationships between diabetes, sugar intake, and 'dangerous' modern lifestyles? And second, how can research into the material, symbolic, and historical functions of sugar redefine the concept of modernity?

Experts in medical science, agriculture, sociology, food science and anthropology, as well as in Latin America, Brazilian, and literary studies use sugar as a prism for understanding the complicated relations between disease and cultural and social habits, between past and present, and between symbolic meanings and material effect. Through this truly interdisciplinary perspective, both traditional approaches to lifestyle diseases and current understandings of modernity are questioned.

Sugar and Modernity in Latin America serves as an example of and a call for interdisciplinary dialogue in response to the grand challenges of modern society.


Part one: The Problem of Health

Is There a Correlation Between High Sugar Consumption and the Increase in Health Problems in Latin America?

Part two: The Preference for Sweetness

Sweetness Preference, Sugar Intake, and Obesity in Latin America

Tasting Time: The Meaning of Sugar in Cuba. Contextualizing the Taste of Sweetness

Part Three: The Globalized Practices

Estás Aquí Para Ser Feliz: The Globalization of Sweetend Soft Drinks in Mexico

The Sweet Tooth of Mother Earth: Sugar's Symbolic Ways Among the Highland Indians in Bolivia

Production Methods and Quality of Sugar Cane in Latin America

Part four: The Art of Slavery

The Perceptions of Modernity in José Lins do Rego's Sugar Cane Cycle, or "not all sugar is sweet"

"Sin azúcar no hay país": Transcultural Images of Sugar and Modernity in the Poetry of Nicolás Guillén


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