I was just reading that the fork is a late comer to the civilized table though used for different purposes much earlier on...i.e. weapons for hunting and as symbols of power such as in Poseidon. I always wondered about that especially since knives and spoons are a lot older. Perhaps, it was such a strong symbol, as in 'trident' that its presence at the table appeared anti - social... LOL!
Only my sweetie the sociologist would know better than me when it comes to social reality. I think that the greater question is to ask how we came to use such utensils and table etiquette. Well, I have read up about that and can tell you it was largely Catherine de Medici's doing. She introduced the use of the fork at the table and its etiquette going back to the 1600s. Perhaps, that is how royalty set themselves 'socially apart' from each other (at the table)... and from servants and peasants who used knives and spoons. I hear that sociologists take such things as social hierarchy into consideration; but, I am just a guy... who has to admit, still gets confused when sitting down to a table laid out for a king.