SUNY Brockport Sweetness and Power by Sidney W Mintz Unessay

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Unessay: The Unessay is a break from a traditional essay. It is a chance to be creative, find alternate ways of communicating a topic, and play to your strengths. Rather than focusing on format, this focuses on content to help you develop research and communication skills. Use your strengths, talents, and skills and apply them to communicating about class topics. Write a poem, song lyrics, blog, or create a play or video – previous students created songs about Neanderthals, drew amazing pictures of the skeleton, and discussed cultural burial techniques in a short story. You have freedom of form as well as style. If you are effective in your communication and compelling in topic presentation, the format is entirely up to you. If you want to share your creation, it can be shared with everyone in the class via the discussion board. The first step is to find a topic from the textbook that interests you. Then further research it and decide how you want to communicate this information. Check with me if you have questions. This assignment is due April 30th at 11:59 p.m. An Unessay is evaluated as follows. The main criterion is to be compelling and effective. To be compelling, consider the following: • The topic is interesting and approach allows for a compelling presentation • It covers all important points clearly and completely– nothing is skipped • It is truthful and the evidence supports your thesis – any questions, evidence, conclusions, or arguments are honestly and accurately presented To be effective, consider the following: • It is readable/watchable/listenable (production values are appropriate and nothing presented is distracting or takes away from the topic) • It is appropriate and uses a format/medium that works for the topic • It is presented in a way that is connecting the audience to the topic Unessay Rubric A: This Unessay actively engages with the material, provides insight and critical analysis, is creative, and thoughtful. The medium works persuasively with the design. The structure and format serve the core concept of the Unessay. It is clear and insightfully connected to the thesis, with clear explanations. A thesis is present and the topic is thoroughly explored. B: This Unessay meaningfully engages with the material and shows an effort to be creative and provide clarity. It reflects some time, effort, and forethought. The medium works but some additional design might have helped. This structure serves the core concept but some further clarity or explanation is needed. C: This Unessay shows some engagement with the material, but is uncreative, fails to develop a critical and reflective perspective, and the connections are vague or unclear. It appears to be thrown together at the last minute. D Or F: This Unessay lacks any serious effort to accomplish the assigned task. Lacks focus, clarity, a thesis, explanations, or cohesion. The link to the book. I would probably choose to write about primates or evolution. But choose whatever you want. https://pressbooks-dev.oer.hawaii.edu/explorationsbioanth/
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Running head: SWEETNESS AND POWER BY SIDNEY W. MINTZ

Sweetness And Power By Sidney W. Mintz
Student’s Name
Course Code and Number
Institutional Affiliation
Date of Submission

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SWEETNESS AND POWER BY SIDNEY W. MINTZ

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Sweetness and Power
The Author
Background
Sidney Winfred Mintz was born on 16th November 1922, and raised in Dover, New
Jersey, United States, to Soloman and Fanny Mintz. Mintz's mother (Fanny) was a garmenttrade organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World and his father (Soloman) was a New
York tradesman. He was married to Jacqueline Wei Mintz and sired children namely Elizabeth
R. Nickens (daughter) and Eric Mintz (son), including his granddaughter Nicole Mintz and
grandson Andre Mintz. He resided in Cockeysville, Maryland, United States. Mintz was a cofounder of the William L. Straus Jr. Professor Emeritus and the Johns Hopkins University
Department of Anthropology. Also, he studied at Brooklyn College, earning a B.A. in
psychology in 1943. Additionally, he was best known for his studies of Afro-Caribbean
traditions, Caribbean societies and the anthropology of food. He died on 27th December, 2015, at
the age of 93 years in Plainsboro, New Jersey (N.J.) due to a severe head injury from a fall he
experienced while traveling in New Jersey with his wife.
Education
Mintz studied at Yale University, Columbia University, and Brooklyn College. At
Brooklyn College, Winfred got his first B.A. in psychology in 1943. He further enrolled at
Columbia University to study a doctoral program in anthropology after enlisting in the United
States Army Air Corps during the WWII. After that, under the supervision of Ruth Benedict and
Julian Steward, he finished a dissertation on sugar-cane plantation employees in Santa Isabel,
Puerto Rico. Mintz was a renowned cultural anthropologist, who provocatively connected

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Britain’s insatiable sweet tooth with capitalism, imperialism, and slavery. In 1951, he also
received his Ph.D. at Columbia University and conducted his central fieldwork in Puerto Rico
among sugar-cane employees. Mintz's academic specialization focused on the anthropology of
food, with a specific focus on the commodification and consumption of sugar.
Career
Mintz prior to assisting to found the Anthropology Department at Johns Hopkins
University, he had a long academic career at Yale University from 1951 –1974. He was a
President and member of the American Ethnological Society from 1968 to 1969, including a
fellow of the Royal Anthropology Institute of Ireland and Great Britain and the American
Anthropology Association. He also taught as a lecture in New York City at Columbia University,
in 1951, and 1950, at City College, and between 1951 and 1974 at Yale University, New Haven,
Connecticut. Also, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Mintz was a visiting
professor/lecture in the 1964-65 academic years. He was a Professor of Anthropology from 1963
to 1974 at Yale University. Also, since 1794, Mintz has served as a Professor of Anthropology at
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. In 1972, Mintz was a Lewis Henry Morgan
Lecturer at the University of Rochester. In 1963, Mintz was awarded a master’s degree from
Yale University. He also had other several awards included Huxley Memorial Medal (1994),
AAA Distinguished Lecturer (1996), Service to Anthropology (2012), and Franz Boas Award for
Exemplary. Lastly, where he remained for the duration of his career is at Yale University and
Mintz taught there for two centuries.
Also, he received many honorary degrees from the University of the West Indies, Trinity
College, the University of Puerto Rico, and Oberlin College. Mintz has penned many reviews
and articles, as well as several books such as Sweetness and Power, which was considered one of

SWEETNESS AND POWER BY SIDNEY W. MINTZ

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the most influential publications in food studies and cultural anthropology. This book has played
a role in the history of early capitalism and it was a groundbreaking study on the history of sugar.
This book was influenced by the author's study of a sugarcane village, which made him to be
called the father of food anthropology.
A Summary of the Book
This book “Sweetness and Power” explores the introduction of sugar onto the European
continent and how it transformed from a luxury product to a staple of contemporary life. It
provides convincing evidence that things people think about least affect people the most. In this
eye-opening study, the author reveals how Americans and Europeans transformed sugar from a
rare foreign commodity to a commonplace necessity of contemporary life, and how sugar
transformed the history of industry and capitalism. Mintz discusses the consumption and
production of sugar and how it altered people’s diet, eating habits, and work patterns in modern
times. This book discusses and illuminates the economic and social history of sugar consumption
and production in Europe and its colonies, especially in England. Mintz examines particularly
the power structures that made it likely for the commodity to become the 1st luxury-turnednecessity that propelled a revolution in lifestyle and diet, especially in the working class during
the rise of capitalism and the Industrial Revolution.
The author argues that because of the restructuring of the working class and sugar's
history in England, people in the U.S. and UK have lost their food autonomy and that its
contribution has been significant to many developed countries. The history of sugar aligns with
themes of control and conquest. Initially, domesticated in New Guinea, this item spread
throughout the Middle East and South Asia between the first century A.D. and 6000 B.C. It is
assumed that India and Persia invested the sugar extraction and course refinement into crystals

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between 400 B.C. and 100 A.D. However, it was until the eleventh century that sugar reached
northern Europe. During the sugar production in the Mediterranean, slavery became a very
significant figure, particularly in the eastern Mediterranean and Morocco after the Crusades,
probably as a result of labor shortages caused by the Black Death.
The production and consumption of sugar was built upon the crux of slave labor in order
to help the Europe and its colonies to maintain with the demand for sugar. Production of sugar
started at the beginning of the 16th century in the New World colonies and Portuguese and
Spanish exports supplied most of Europe's sugar. The author makes a strong case that sugar
plantation was a significant factor in the rise of capitalism and an early form of industrial
production. As a rarity in the 11th century throughout its widespread availability in the 19th
century, the Demand for sugar in England remained high from its first appearance. However, the
meaning of sugar percolated downward due to the fall of its prices between 1650 and 1750. As a
result of its diminishing luxurious value, the lower classes were able to obtain sugar in the mid
18th century. As a result, new meanings were created for sugar uses and old meanings were recast and absorbed.
Mintz, in Sweetness and Power, explored the nexus between the colony and metropolis
via Britain’s desire for sweetness. The author, by focusing on sugar as an export item, examined
how economic and political power was wielded in the associations between Britain and the west
colonial West Indies from the 17th and 19th centuries. As per the author, the Caribbean sugar
plantation was reinforced by the rise of the Britain factory system. The author concluded that
industrial economies were generally fueled by the readily accessible cheap sugar. In medieval
times, sugar was considered a spice until the 19th century where it was regarded as medicine.
Further, the author examines the consumption practices and development of production around

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sugar, particularly by making a connection with broader problems such as the growth of slavery.
For the author, genetic and evolutionary factors surrounding human preference for sweet things
are solely a partial perspective of why people favor sweets. Mintz argues that people should look
to the historical development of political and economic power, including economic affluence.
The author asserts that sweat eating has its roots in the popularity of sugar-related products like
tea, cheap calories, perceptions of luxury, and historical imperialism.
Mintz believes that a manufacturer’s exploitation and labor is not sufficient to
comprehend the exploitation of production. The author sees the anthropology grounded in his
research of a fundamental product (sugar) as one that links instead of marginalizes its subjects, as
a mode of inquiry and a positive contestation of the bounded ...


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