- "Instant status" during the slaughter: social positioning and power in a Sardinian shepherd family
- Hagar : Studies in Culture, Policy and Identities
- Volume | Issue number
- 10 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This article uses food as a means to critically explore the existing theoretical debate on social change and power structures. Through a detailed ethnographic analysis of two events the milking of sheep and the slaughtering of a steer in rural Sardinia, Italy the article introduces the concept of "instant status" to make sense of a particular dynamic of social positioning that is rapid, unexpected and real, but at the same time short-lived and does not lead to a breakdown of the higher level power structures. By introducing this concept, the article aims to contribute to the long-running debate on structure and agency in anthropological theory by offering a way out that acknowledges both.
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