Modernization of Sugar Essay

1242 Words Dec 7th, 2014 5 Pages
Modernization from Consumption of Sugar

According to Wikipedia, “modernity” is defined as a post-traditional period that is marked by the move from feudalism towards capitalism and industrialism. From the sixteenth century through the nineteenth century, many countries and economies progressed towards a more modern environment. Many factors contributed to the push for modernity; however, the sugar industry exhibited major influence throughout the world. Once sugar cane was established in the Caribbean, this new crop pushed the region to shift from a traditional agrarian economy towards a more industrial and capitalistic economy. The new production process made sugar readily available for the first time in history, which allowed
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In Weber’s “Ideas on Sociology”, he illustrates an idea that consumption is a way of defining status. In today’s society, the words “class” and “status” are sometimes used interchangeably; however, Weber states that there are notable differences between the two words. Weber argues that classes are “stratified according to their relations to the production and acquisition of goods” (Weber 193). Status groups, on the other hand, are “stratified according to the principles of their consumption of goods” (Weber 193). From Weber’s point of view, the consumption “of material goods” defines the status one aspires to. The consumption of material goods “provides the most effective motives for the exclusiveness of a status group” (Weber 191). Weber continues to extrapolate on status by stating that “eating special dishes” or foods, i.e. sugar, as compared to other groups can impact your status in society (Weber 191). Mary Douglas interprets the consumption of meals as a way to establish group boundaries rather than for just nutrition. Douglas breaks down a sequence of meals in order to reveal the true meaning behind consumption. Instead of eating entirely for the sake of one’s health, Douglas argues, “meals reveal a restrictive patterning by which the meal is identified as such, graded as a minor or major event of its class, and then judged as a good or

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