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Diners, Dudes, and Diets

How Gender and Power Collide in Food Media and Culture

By Emily J. H. Contois

208 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 21 halftones, notes, bibl

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-6074-5
    Published: November 2020
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-6073-8
    Published: November 2020
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-6075-2
    Published: October 2020

Studies in United States Culture

Paperback Available November 2020, but pre-order your copy today!

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The phrase "dude food" likely brings to mind a range of images: burgers stacked impossibly high with an assortment of toppings that were themselves once considered a meal; crazed sports fans demolishing plates of radioactively hot wings; barbecued or bacon-wrapped . . . anything. But there is much more to the phenomenon of dude food than what’s on the plate. Emily J. H. Contois’s provocative book begins with the dude himself—a man who retains a degree of masculine privilege but doesn’t meet traditional standards of economic and social success or manly self-control. In the Great Recession’s aftermath, dude masculinity collided with food producers and marketers desperate to find new customers. The result was a wave of new diet sodas and yogurts marketed with dude-friendly stereotypes, a transformation of food media, and weight loss programs just for guys.

In a work brimming with fresh insights about contemporary American food media and culture, Contois shows how the gendered world of food production and consumption has influenced the way we eat and how food itself is central to the contest over our identities.

About the Author

Emily J. H. Contois is assistant professor of media studies at the University of Tulsa.
For more information about Emily J. H. Contois, visit the Author Page.


"Contois has demonstrated that there is much fertile ground for considering how, why, and where the trope of 'the dude' functions and the arguments remain engaging throughout the entirety of Diners, Dudes, and Diets. She makes a significant contribution to food studies, gender studies, and cultural studies by deftly weaving an analysis of gendered power dynamics with observations of race, class, sexuality, age, and disability at important consumer culture sites."--Kathleen LeBesco, coeditor of The Bloomsbury Handbook of Food and Popular Culture

"Contois’s focus on 'dude masculinity' is original and will make an important contribution to the fields of food studies and gender studies insofar as it complicates our understanding of the gendering of food--its production, distribution, and consumption--food media, and cultural narratives around the idealized male and female body and dieting."--Peter Naccarato, coeditor of The Bloomsbury Handbook of Food and Popular Culture