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IUAES 2013: Evolving Humanity, Emerging Worlds. 5-10 August 2013.

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Evolving humanity, emerging worlds

Manchester, UK; 5th-10th August 2013


Anthropology of food and nutrition in the globalized economy

Location University Place 2.217
Date and Start Time 08 Aug, 2013 at 11:00


Gangadhar Mysore Rajagopal (University of Mysore) email
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Short Abstract

What is food and what is non-food is a cultural decision. All available nutrients are not classified as food in any culture. Factors of production and distribution of food and impact of globalized economy on traditional societies shall be discussed in this panel.

Long Abstract

All animals require adequate nutrition to survive. Their consumption is guided by instinct. In the case of human beings intake of nutrients is guided by the cultural factors. Each culture has its own way of defining what food is and what is non-food, what is nutrient and what is non-nutrient. Traditional societies were able to maintain a balance in their ecology and economy until recently. Almost every members of the society had access t o food. Starvation was unheard of in traditional societies. However, globalization of economy had deleterious impact on the supply of food in all societies. It has affected landholding pattern, agricultural practices, sharing of food etc. buying and selling of food items is guided by the market forces. In the market economy food is a mere commodity on the other hand; in traditional societies food has many symbolic functions. It is a medium of communication in inter-personal relations. It is a commodity which finds people in the society.

In the globalized economy, food crops are replaced by commercial non-food crops, agricultural land is converted to industrial land etc. hence, and the following issues may be addressed while conducting research on nutritional anthropology in traditional societies.

a. Status of production of food crops.

b. Availability of land for food production.

c. Organizational problems of food production.

d. Inequitable distribution of food items.

e. Nutritional deficiency in diet

f. Impact of the market forces on traditional methods of food production.

g. Symbolic uses of food.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.


Anthropologists became interested in tourism as a relevant subject of anthropology

Author: M C Mallikarjun (Karnatak Arts College of Karnatak University, Dharwad)  email
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Short Abstract

Conceptually into two halves, the first half of the paper seeks to understand the relation between tourism with socio-cultural anthropology and second in food, tourism and health.

Long Abstract

Tourism is relevant to much theoretical and real world issue in anthropology. They major themes anthropologists have concerned in the study of tourism may be divided. Conceptually into two halves, one half seeks to understand the relation between tourism with socio-cultural anthropology and second in tourism and health.

Therefore, this research paper deals with following objectives:

(1) To describe the development of the anthropology of tourism, identify the key scholars who have contributed to the health and tourism.

(2) To study food hygiene to the hygiene practices that prevents food poisoning to maintain standard health of tourists.

(3) To examine the policies of health care provisions made by the Government of Karnataka to safeguard the tourists centres in the district.


Author: Rajesh Kundargi (Pondicherry Central University)  email
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Short Abstract

The paper tries to bring into focus the ability and the efficacy of the public health care in the wake of the changing priorities of the people in the developing world especially when they have been practicing medical pluralism for quite a long time now. Under these circumstances what are the problems faced by both the providers and the recipients of healthcare? How do they deal with it? Can our healthcare systems, public or otherwise, take care of all the health problems of the people singlehandedly? What does the situation entail?

Long Abstract

The new discipline of bioethics is very much an offshoot of the fast emerging biomedical technologies and its interplay with what's being called as indigenous or ethnomedical practices of the people. And more often, what is being overlooked during the doctor-patient interactions are not just protocols and medical regulations, but in fact the very bedrock of medical ethics - the humanist ideas of bodily holism, integrity and human dignity. In these parleys between the "knowledgeable" providers and "layman" recipients, clarity is lacking as to whose world views are represented and how? Deeply held beliefs in human dignity and patient-centered care are not solely the legacy of western enlightenment. The modern bioethical arguments of "right to primary healthcare" and "health for all" are to a large extent based on the Euro-American notions of contract and individual choice. And therefore they create only a semblance of ethical choice in an intrinsically unethical context. The call for a unitary and absolute ethic of medical care devoted for the enhancement of the health status of the people at large ends all ethical inquiry and any possibility of a global social ethic of health care.

Food habit and food beliefs among the Kamars of Central India

Author: Nilanjan Khatua (Anthropological Survey of India)  email
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Short Abstract

The food and nutrition appears very simple phenomenon in our life, but for anthropologists, it is a cultural phenomenon. The anthropology of food focuses on the cultural and social significance of food and eating. This paper reveals the food habits and associated food beliefs among the Kamar, of Madhya Pradesh in Central India.

Long Abstract

In every human society food is deeply embedded in the social, religious and economic aspects. The present study reveals the food habits and associated food beliefs among the Kamar, traditional shifting cultivators and expert hunters of Central India. Presently, they have adopted settled cultivation, besides collection of minor forest produces, basketry, agricultural and forest labour, fuel wood and charcoal selling are other economic activities. The Kamar is a dominant scheduled tribe of Raipur district of Chhattisgarh state. According to Census of 1981, the total population of Kamar is 17,517 in Madhya Pradesh.

The Kamar food is divided into two categories - Hot and Cold. The hot food consists of mango, cow milk, torai (ridge gourd) while the cold food consists of guava, crusted apple, papaya, banana, cucumber, pumpkin, buffalo milk and gourd. The flesh of goats, field rats and chicken are much appreciated by them. Wild fruits, plants roots and tubers form an important part of the diet. The Mahua liquor plays an important role. Consumption of green vegetables like pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima), bottle gourd (Langenria vulgaris), Kundru (Coccinia cordifolia) leads to diseases like malaria. Salty food is easily digestible and good for health; whereas sweet dishes make one inactive. Foods, bitter in taste, like neem (Azardirachta indica) and karela (Momordica charantia) are good for health, and act as antidote to snake-bite and hence they consume more of them.

The Ethiopian Buna (Coffee) Ceremony: Exploring the Impact of Exile and the Construction of Identity through Narratives with Ethiopian Forced Migrants in London

Author: David Palmer (University of Kent)  email
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Short Abstract

This paper reports on oral history interviews undertaken with Ethiopian forced migrants in London, about the traditional Buna (coffee) ceremony. The PhD study indicates that the Buna ceremony plays a significant role in the construction of identity and in determining well-being in exile.

Long Abstract

The loss of social networks, customs, rituals, authority structures and institutions, through which forced migrants had previously engaged and negotiated their sense of self on a daily basis, is key to an understanding of the experiences of migration and, in particular, its impact on personal well-being. This paper reports on oral history interviews undertaken with 41 Ethiopian refugees in London, about the traditional Buna (coffee) ceremony. Buna is generally accompanied by popcorn and/or traditional Ethiopian dishes.Thes tudy indicates that the ceremony plays a significant role in the construction of identity and in determining wellbeing in exile.It was evident that the ceremony provides opportunities to preserve cultural heritage as a strategy for overcoming forms of social isolation and disadvantage. The ceremony enables participants to meet, talk, support; and especially where mental distress is associated with loss of support, the ceremony can be viewed as a mutual self-help group, where individuals are involved in the maintenance of well-being. The ceremony in exile acts as a foundation for community relationships and allows members to share their skills and knowledge in support of each other and the wider community. The ceremony as practiced in the UK is thus evidently more than simply a gathering for coffee; in addition to the attachment to the coffee itself and the traditional ritual proceedings surrounding the Buna event, the ceremony can also be seen to provide insights into the complex and challenging ongoing processes of settlement, adaptation and identity management,

experienced by the participants in exile.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.


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