Food as a Matter of Being: Experiential Continuity in Transnational Lives

  • Maja Povrzanović Frykman
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the materiality of food and food-related objects and practices, in order to illustrate how they help creating normalcy and continuity in conditions of transnational migration. Research-based examples of individual experiences concerning transportation and consumption of food across the borders show that methodological individualism allows for an approach to transnational migration that does not prioritise the analytical dyads of “old” and “new” homes as the only relevant routes inscribed by food parcels. Methodological individualism allows for treating transnational practices motivated by individual habits and preferences as equally important as the practices that may be typical for particular groups of migrants. It thereby clarifies the distinction between the ways of being and the ways of belonging in transnational social fields.

Keywords

Food Practice Experiential continuity Transnational social fields Methodological individualism Being and belonging 

References

  1. Abbots, Emma-Jayne. 2011. ‘It Doesn’t Taste as Good from the Pet Shop’: Guinea Pig Consumption and the Performance of Transnational Kin and Class Relations in Highland Ecuador and New York City. Food, Culture and Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research 14 (2): 205–223. doi:10.2752/175174411X12893984828755.Google Scholar
  2. Abranches, Maria. 2013. When People Stay and Things Make Their Way: Airports, Mobilities and Materialities of a Transnational Landscape. Mobilities 8 (4): 506–527. doi:10.1080/17450101.2012.705510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. ———. 2014. Remitting Wealth, Reciprocating Health? The ‘Travel’ of the Land from Guinea-Bissau to Portugal. American Ethnologist 41 (2): 261–275. doi:10.1111/amet.12074.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Appadurai, Arjun, ed. 1986. The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Basu, Paul, and Simon Coleman. 2008. Introduction: Migrant Worlds, Material Cultures. Mobilities 3 (3): 313–330. doi:10.1080/17450100802376753.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Buchli, Victor, ed. 2004. Material Culture: Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Burrell, Kathy. 2008a. Managing, Learning and Sending: The Material Lives and Journeys of Polish Women in Britain. Journal of Material Culture 13 (1): 63–83. doi:10.1177/1359183507086219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. ———. 2008b. Materialising the Border: Spaces of Mobility and Material Culture in Migration from Post-Socialist Poland. Mobilities 3 (3): 353–373. doi:10.1080/17450100802376779.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chi, Heng-Chang, and Peter Jackson. 2011. Thai Food in Taiwan: Tracing the Contours of Transational Taste. New Formations 74: 65–81. doi:10.3898/NEWF.74.04.2011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Crenn, Chantal, Anne-Elène Delavigne, and Isabelle Téchoueyres. 2010. Migrants’ Food Habits When Returning Home (in Bamako, Mali, and Dakar, Senegal). To Be or Not To Be a Model? Anthropology of Food [Online], 7. http://aof.revues.org/6629
  11. D’Alisera, JoAnn. 2001. I ♡ Islam. Popular Religious Commodities, Sites of Inscription, and Transnational Sierra Leonean Identity. Journal of Material Culture 6 (1): 91–110. doi:10.1177/135918350100600105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. De Vidas, Anath Ariel. 2008. Containing Modernity: The Social Life of Tupperware in a Mexican Indigenous Village. Ethnography 9 (2): 257–284. doi:10.1177/1466138108088953.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dudley, Sandra. 2011. Feeling at Home: Producing and Consuming Things in Karenni Refugee Camps on the Thai–Burma Border. Population, Space and Place 17 (6): 742–755. doi:10.1002/psp.639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Geismar, Haidy, and Heather A. Horst. 2004. Materializing Ethnography. Journal of Material Culture 9 (1): 5–10. doi:10.1177/1359183504041086.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Glick Schiller, Nina. 2008. Beyond Methodological Ethnicity: Local and Transnational Pathways of Immigrant Incorporation. Willy Brandt Series of Working papers in International Migration and Ethnic Relations 2/08, Malmö University, Malmö. http://dspace.mah.se/handle/2043/7491
  16. Glick Schiller, Nina, Linda Basch, and Cristina Szanton Blanc. 1995. From Immigrant to Transmigrant: Theorizing Transnational Migration. Anthropological Quarterly 68 (1): 48–63. doi:10.2307/3317464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ho, Elaine Lynn-Ee, and Madeleine E. Hattfield. 2011. Migration and Everyday Matters: Sociality and Materiality. Population, Space and Place 17 (6): 707–713. doi:10.1002/psp.636.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jackson, Peter. 2011. Families and Food: Beyond the ‘Cultural Turn’? Social Geography 6 (1): 63–71. doi:10.5194/sg-6-63-2011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Keller Brown, Linda, and Kay Mussell. 1984. Ethnic and Regional Foodways in the United States: The Performance of Group Identity. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press.Google Scholar
  20. Kershen, Anne J. 2002. Food in the Migrant Experience. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  21. Levitt, Peggy, and Nina Glick Schiller. 2004. Conceptualizing Simultaneity: A Transnational Social Field Perspective on Society. International Migration Review 38 (3): 1002–1039. doi:10.1111/j.1747-7379.2004.tb00227.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lomsky-Feder, Edna, and Tamar Rapoport. 2000. Visit, Separation, and Deconstructing Nostalgia: Russian Students Travel to Their Old Home. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 29 (1): 32–57. doi:10.1177/089124100129023819.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mata-Codesal, Diana. 2008. Rice and Coriander. Sensorial Re-Creations of Home through Food: Ecuadorians in a Northern Spanish City. Sussex Centre for Migration Research Working Paper No. 50, University of Sussex, Brighton. http://repository.forcedmigration.org/show_metadata.jsp?pid=fmo:5696
  24. ———. 2010. Eating Abroad, Remembering (At) Home. Three Foodscapes of Ecuadorian Migration in New York, London and Santander. Anthropology of Food [Online], 7. http://aof.revues.org/6642
  25. Miller, Daniel. 1998a. A Theory of Shopping. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  26. ———. 1998b. Material Cultures: Why Some Things Matter. London: UCL Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. ———, ed. 2001. Home Possessions: Material Culture Behind Closed Doors. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  28. ———, ed. 2005. Materiality. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  29. ———. 2008a. The Comfort of Things. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  30. ———. 2008b. Migration, Material Culture and Tragedy: Four Moments in Caribbean Migration. Mobilities 3 (3): 397–413. doi:10.1080/17450100802376712.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. ———. 2009. Individuals and the Aesthetic of Order. In Anthropology and the Individual. A Material Culture Perspective, ed. Daniel Miller, 3–24. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  32. Nikolovski, Zoran. 2008. Macedonia Tries to Trademark Popular Balkan Food as National Dish. Southeast European Times, February 2. Accessed April 30, 2014. http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2008/02/07/feature-03
  33. Parkin, David J. 1999. Mementoes as Transitional Objects in Human Displacement. Journal of Material Culture 4 (3): 303–320. http://mcu.sagepub.com/content/4/3/303.abstract CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Petridou, Alia. 2001. The Taste of Home. In Home Possessions: Material Culture Behind Closed Doors, ed. Daniel Miller, 87–104. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  35. Povrzanović Frykman, Maja. 2010. Materijalne prakse bivanja i pripadanja u transnacionalnim društvenim prostorima (Material Practices of Being and Belonging in Transnational Social Fields). Studia Ethnologica Croatica 22 (1): 39–60. http://hrcak.srce.hr/index.php?show=clanak&id_clanak_jezik=93263 Google Scholar
  36. ———. 2011. Connecting Three Homelands: Transnational Practices of Bosnian Croats Living in Sweden. In The Bosnian Diaspora: Integration in Transnational Communities, ed. Marko Valenta and Sabrina Petra Ramet, 241–259. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  37. ———. 2016. Conceptualising Continuity: A Material Culture Perspective on Transnational Social Fields. Ethnologia Fennica 43: 43–56. http://hdl.handle.net/2043/21958 Google Scholar
  38. Povrzanović Frykman, Maja, and Michael Humbracht. 2013. Making Palpable Connections: Objects in Migrants’ Transnational Lives. Ethnologia Scandinavica 43: 47–67. https://dspace.mah.se/handle/2043/15800 Google Scholar
  39. Rabikowska, Marta. 2010. The Ritualisation of Food, Home and National Identity among Polish Migrants in London. Social Identities 16 (3): 377–398. doi:10.1080/13504630.2010.482432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Salih, Ruba. 2003. Gender in Transnationalism: Home, Longing and Belonging among Moroccan Migrant Women. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  41. Savas, Özlem. 2014. Taste Diaspora: The Aesthetic and Material Practice of Belonging. Journal of Material Culture 19 (2): 185–208. doi:10.1177/1359183514521922.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sutton, David E. 2001. Remembrance of Repasts: An Anthropology of Food and Memory. New York: Berg.Google Scholar
  43. Tolia-Kelly, Divya P. 2004a. Locating Processes of Identification: Studying the Precipitates of Re-Memory through Artefacts in the British Asian Home. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 29 (3): 314–329. doi:10.1111/j.0020-2754.2004.00303.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. ———. 2004b. Materializing Post-Colonial Geographies: Examining the Textural Landscapes of Migration in the South Asian Home. Geoforum 35 (6): 675–688. doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2004.02.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Warnier, Jean-Pierre. 2001. A Praxeological Approach to Subjectivation in a Material World. Journal of Material Culture 6 (1): 5–24. doi:10.1177/135918350100600101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. ———. 2009. Technology as Efficacious Action on Objects … and Subjects. Journal of Material Culture 14 (4): 459–470. doi:10.1177/1359183509345944.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Werbner, Pnina. 2000. Introduction: The Materiality of Diaspora – Between Aesthetic and ‘Real’ Politics. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies 9 (1): 5–20. doi:10.1353/dsp.2000.0010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wilk, Richard R. 1999. ‘Real Belizean Food’: Building Local Identity in the Transnational Caribbean. American Anthropologist 101 (2): 244–255. doi:10.1525/aa.1999.101.2.244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maja Povrzanović Frykman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Global Political StudiesMalmö UniversityMalmöSweden

Personalised recommendations