I’ve noted before, there seems to be a sociology of everything – from the sociology of groups to the sociology of music. As the Baseball Sociologist, I have argued there’s a sociology of baseball everything as well. Including a sociology of baseball food. Yep. The sociology of food. The sociology of baseball. The sociology of baseball food.
You know what baseball food is – hotdogs, Cracker Jack, popcorn, etc. But what’s the sociology of food you ask? According to Wikipedia:
Sociology of food is the study of food as it relates to the history, progression, and future development of society. This includes production, consumption, distribution, conflict, medical application, ritual, spiritual, ethical, and cultural applications, environmental and labour issues.
Thus, the baseball sociology of food looks at the relationship between baseball and food. It asks questions like, how has the food offerings at baseball games changed over time? What times of cultural meanings do these foods have? What cultural values do these foods reflect? For example, what cultural value does a $6.00 represent? Is it a different value if, like the Nats, you get a free refill?
One of the most interesting topics in the baseball sociology of food is how baseball reflects the foods eaten in certain towns and cities. Part of baseball and tourism is experiencing the unique things that can only be found in certain ballparks, from Dodger Dogs in L.A. to Churro Dogs in Arizona.
What are your favorite baseball foods? Are the specific to certain ballparks? As we await Spring Training, we’ll be looking at the baseball sociology of food over the next several weeks.