The trajectory of food as a symbolic resource for international migrants

Outlines. Critical Practice Studies 15 (1):28-48 (2014)
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Abstract

This paper explores the trajectories of food and how culinary practices evolve over time in relation to a migrant’s experience. Our focus is on international mothers adjusting to life in London. We identify a connection between eating practices and evolving identities. In line with a stream of research in cultural psychology, we consider food as a symbolic resource mobilized by migrants to provide some material support to their processes of adaptation to a new country. In this respect, we introduce the notion of malleable symbolic resource in order to highlight the ductility of food in relation to an individual’s evolving personal culture. On this basis, we propose to describe ductile trajectories of food in relation to three important steps: where food and eating practices come from; with whom food is consumed and for what goal it is chosen

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