Narratives of good food: utopias and realities of stability and social change
Ewa Kopczynska (Jagiellonian University)
Justyna Straczuk (Institute of Philosophy and Sociology Polish Academy of Sciences)
Start time:
23 June, 2015 at 10:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel explore meanings of different food narratives referring to such areas as: traditional food, natural food, food (hi)stories, food as heritage, local food, home-made food, nostalgic food and memory of taste, new food movements, food and social change: sustainability and self-sufficiency.

Long abstract:

Food is increasingly appearing in different narratives of good life. Depicted as nonmaterial heritage, it brings back nostalgic images of the past, half-real and half-mythic lands of taste, where table community provided people with durable patterns to follow and strong social bonds. This somewhat utopian vision is often accompanied by the concept of natural food and natural diet as an exemplary state of humanity. The present passion for collecting traditional recipes and original products, for learning authentic ways of preparing and consuming food seems to embody an intense longing for deep-rooted, committed, stable and healthy way of living, members of individualistic, internet-mediated society are short of. More and more often narratives of food (its production, distribution, consumption and disposal) are also presented as a way of social change and panacea for global issues: environmental, social, political, and economic. New social movements and menu-related alternatives give us a picture of better future without hunger, animals' pain, unjust economies and social inequalities. Household/ regional/ national self-sufficiency and sustainability are important chapters of these stories. We would like to invite papers based on ethnographic data focusing on specific contexts and related to the following themes: - Traditional food, natural food - Food (hi)stories, food as heritage - Local food and home-made food - Nostalgic food and memory of taste - New food movements - Food and social change: sustainability and self-sufficiency - Ethnographies and cultural meanings of new food technologies