The Hierarchical Tendency in the Kitchen and the somehow relatedness to the ever evolving structures of capital
note: this article or essay are based on certain assumptions that the reader have some knowledge of.
Usually the division of labor in the kitchen are quite obvious, domestic, commercial or even public “charity”.
To keep the process short and simple, lets say the process of kitchen work forces starts from the acquisition of cook-able material. The transportation and later to the hands of the preparer preparing the material. When all is prepared, the process of creating “cook food” begins. Later, the serving, and then cleaning. All activities mentioned above could be done by one person, (which often happens in the house hold) or the tasks are divided among a group of people, which can overlap.
In the context of a group (forgoing the single person work), as i want to highlight on collective effort in the production of food, the tasks are can be divided to make the operation more efficient. everyone doing the same thing at once, or different things.
In most situation, the collective effort or objective is to “get it done”. And in reality, it is really difficult or impossible to value the different task in the process of making food in the kitchen. However, we know society has it’s own values on the different task/ jobs involve where the creator tends to get the all the credit.
it is important to acknowledge that our upbringing or trend in job specialization has it’s effect on the way we organize as a collective. it is important to question whether it is merely passion, or that is what “i am good at” attitude or it has external influences affecting the way we think what we want to specialize in. It is really interesting that many managerial or CEO positions in the corporate world are people with overall skills in “everthing”.
it is by no means demeaning individual who has passion for the things they do, but we have to acknowledge that the capitalist factories and education system are breeding specialization suitable for the market, or to be market (based upon speculation).
As it was mentioned above, the creator of the creation are often credited highest, and the process of the creation, the preparation of the creation are neglected. Construction for instance, the end product would be the creation of company X, the CEO MR X, the chief designer MR Y – they are the “creator” when it was clear that many other people had help and being exploited – and they did they part of the creation but feel no relation to it, rewarded with peas and no recognition.
i hope you get the idea of the creator – exploited labor of creation shit — read marx for that.
Applying to an “alternative kitchen environment ” who wished to operate outside the constitution of the dominant system, ways of practices, decision making and the division of labor; may or may not have similar sentiments from the norm. Meaning, because we are essentially in the system, and our form of access to knowledge and upbringing, we cannot totally deny it’s irreverence. In some sense, we are still the product of the system.
so division of labor still exist, but how does it work? does it have the same sense of alienation and remoteness? it is possible. is there a hierarchy? inequality in gender division of work?
it is still possible. in the kitchen, the process of creation and the actual creation are broken down, and in this instance, the relationship could be neutral, some people just don’t want to be part of certain process, or thy could feel the lack of confidence…. like the say, “to one’s need, to one’s ability” but is it really the case?
i guess we have to acknowledge that even we despite the system and it’s inequality, we are still the product of that inequality, and we often neglect the little things… the words we use, certain behaviors and so , at many instance we are the perpetrator and not the victim, and we cannot allow ourself sanction if we wish to create something “better”..