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Negotiating cultural boundaries: Food, travel and consumer identities
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Fashion Studies.
Northeastern University, Boston, MA.
2010 (English)In: Consumption, markets & culture, ISSN 1025-3866, E-ISSN 1477-223X, Vol. 13, no 2, 133-157 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study addresses the role of food in boundary crossing and maintenance processes in the context of short-term mobility. We utilize an identity and practice theory approach to understand the ways travelers relate to food in the encounter with the cultural different Other. The study was conducted through interviews with 28 American consumers after a 10-day trip to China. A semiotic data interpretation revealed the ways the informants made sense of their cultural experience in China through a continuous process of categorization of foods. Counter to the expectations of food consumption as the site of boundary crossing, we find that consumption of food abroad becomes a symbolic project of maintaining boundaries with the Other and sustaining a sense of home. The encounter with the Other through food caused anxiety and alienation, which consumers dealt with by consuming familiar, western foods that enabled the maintenance of an embodied sense of comfort and a familiar sense of home. We further suggest that lack of local cultural capital and marketplace mythologies about the Other as factors that shaped and elevated the negative experience during travel. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Consumption, Markets & Culture is the property of Routledge and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a list

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis , 2010. Vol. 13, no 2, 133-157 p.
Keyword [en]
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38693DOI: 10.1080/10253860903562148OAI: diva2:312886
Available from: 2010-04-26 Created: 2010-04-26 Last updated: 2010-09-29Bibliographically approved

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