‘If you see me cooking you’ll see clearly I am not from here’: food and migration in the context of transnationalism

Barbora Adlerova

Abstract


Food is a social and cultural capital, a symbolic medium through which we express our identity and group membership. Therefore, food culture and habits play a significant role in the processes of migration and acculturation, especially from the transnational perspective. This study, in which six European high-skilled migrants were interviewed in depth, explores how migrants experience acculturation in their diets and how they negotiate the food culture of receiving country, the United Kingdom. The results reveal that in the light of transnational theory, food enables newcomers to stretch their culture over time and space and helps them to accommodate to the new environment. This means participants retain most of their habits while adapting and acquiring new ones, alongside the neophobic and neophilic continuum. Besides, the study also raised a question for further research of migration, belonging and ‘European identity’, since majority of participants did not identify themselves with the concept of migrant.

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Copyright (c) 2014 Barbora Adlerova