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"The Anthropology of Stuff" is part of a new Series dedicated to innovative, unconventional ways to connect undergraduate students and their lived concerns about our social world to the power of social science ideas and evidence. Our goal with the project is to help spark social science imaginations and in doing so, new avenues for meaningful thought and action. Each "Stuff" title is a short (100 page) "mini text" illuminating for students the network of people and activities that create their material world.


From the coffee producers and pickers who tend the plantations in tropical nations, to the middlemen and processors, to the consumers who drink coffee without ever having to think about how the drink reached their hands, here is a commodity that ties the world together. This is a great little book that helps students apply anthropological concepts and theories to their everyday lives, learn how historical events and processes have shaped the modern world and the contexts of their lives, and how consumption decisions carry ramifications for our health, the environment, the reproduction of social inequality, and the possibility of supporting equity, sustainability and social justice.


"Coffee Culture is more than a compilation of great perspectives regarding the cultural anthropology and political ecology of the world's most popular drink. It is also the perfect lens through which to show students and activists alike the complexities of shifting the production and promotion of any commodity toward sustainability and food justice." —Gary Nabhan, Southwest Studies Center, University of Arizona


"This book is an excellent overview of the world of coffee, and a perfect exemplar of the ideas of the Anthropology of Stuff series. Coffee Culture is ideally suited for use in courses on "stuff"—commodities in the modern globalized economy. Though designed for course use, it would be great reading just as a way of keeping up on one of the world's favorite drinks." —Eugene Anderson, Anthropology, University of California, Riverside


'"Stuff" matters, especially in our increasingly material world, and few commodities matter quite as much as Coffee. Catherine Tucker's Coffee Culture provides a brilliant, broad-ranging and engaging introduction to just why this is the case. She reveals the dark side of coffee (along with some rays of hope) and its complex interconnection with everything from world history, social class, and commodification, to the Internet, sex, and fair trade."—Gavin Fridell, Politics, Trent University