Visiting Scholar at the National Center for Institutional Diversity
Kaitland Byrd's work uses cultural consumption as a lens to understand social inequalities with an emphasis on explaining the processes of legitimation and differentiation that can shape access to resources and opportunities. For example, there are many friendly debates about what counts as the most “authentic” type of food based on its relationship to history, identity, and production, but these cultural processes impact how people navigate other aspects of life as well. Cultural consumption processes also influence people’s health and their health-related behaviors by shaping food choices and access. Focusing on our everyday life experiences with food and housing, I provide students with important perspectives on the connections between culture and structure influencing everyday consumption patterns with lasting consequences on health and the environment. She recently published her first book Real Southern Barbecue: Constructing Authenticity in Southern Food Culture, which explores how barbecue pitmasters and restaurant owners navigate the changing demands to hold true to their generations-long foodway traditions. Currently, she is completing two new manuscripts. The first project examines the differences between the traditional craft food purveyors of rural and marginalized communities against the national narrative of a craft reneissance occuring in mostly urban locales. The second project, based on two years of ethnographic field work, discusses how non-profit agencies and their volunteers tackle affordable housing and housing insecurity, and how they connect this work to addressing such community ills despite rarely, if ever, facing these same difficult circumstances themselves.
Fun Facts About Me:
Qualitative or quantitative?
Where can we find you on a Saturday afternoon?
The Farmers' Market
What's a random fact about you?
I own over 200 cookbooks.