Jesse DartDec 11, 2023
Feeding the Hustle
Free Food & Care Inside the Tech Industry
Lexington Books 2022
Food is increasingly a subject of interest in social sciences: how we cook, consume, and share food is relevant to our social lives. In Feeding the Hustle: Free Food & Care Inside the Tech Industry (Lexington Books, 2022), Jesse Dart draws on ethnographic fieldwork to consider the ways in which free food has become ubiquitous and even compulsory within the tech industry. Packed lunches have nearly disappeared as more companies provide free food with the stated objectives of attracting and retaining employees, increasing productivity, and creating a sense of community through commensality. Dart demonstrates how these food programs alter the relationship between employer and employee, support a flexible type of workforce, and reveal a commensality that is both exclusionary and inclusionary. Through detailed descriptions and insightful analysis, the book illustrates the tension embedded in food perks in the workplace, between food as a kind of gift and as a part of everyday entitlement.
Jesse Dart is a social anthropologist and writer whose origins are in southern Illinois. He has spent many years living, researching and studying overseas, most recently in Italy. His academic interests are in the anthropology of work, food, and care. He is currently the senior UX research at Hyatt Hotels Corporation.
Yadong Li is a PhD student in anthropology at Tulane University. He conducts ethnography among ufologists in China. His research interests lie at the intersection of the anthropology of the paranormal, hope studies, and post-structuralist philosophy. More details about his scholarship and research interests can be found here.