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Title: Migration and foodways : continuity and change among Ghanaians in London
Author: Tuomainen, Helena Margaret
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2006
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This qualitative study examines the relationship between migration, foodways, ethnic identities and gender through a case study of a West African community in the UK, Ghanaians in London. The study is grounded in qualitative and theoretical research on meals. The micro-level analysis of food habits within households is set in a wider context by exploring the development of the food culture in the community as a whole. The main research questions are: 1) How are foodways maintained, transformed, and renewed by migrants and their descendants at both household and community levels? 2) What is the relationship between ethnic identity and foodways amongst migrant groups? 3) What is the role of gender in maintaining foodways and identities? At the household level, the focus is on the structure of food and eating in the past and present, and on food habits as symbolic expressions of ethnicities and gender. The study employs ethnographic methods of investigation in studying Ghanaian households, functions, restaurants and food stores. The thesis highlights the role of substitutes in maintaining meal formats and the identity of the food despite changes in its nutritional content. Transformation of food habits occurs through improved access to formerly unavailable foods or meals, enabling migrants to express hybrid identities. Transformation also occurs in the second generation due to shifting identities and the acceptance of other food cultures. Functions can form an arena for the renewal of commensal relationships among migrants. At the community and household levels, the role of gender is important in the maintenance of foodways and ethnic identities. Among first generation migrants it is possible to observe a shift in emphasis from ‘tribal’, or ‘regional’, to ‘national’ food, and among the second generation, a further shift away from ‘national’ or ‘continental’ food to food with a more comprehensive reach. These shifts express symbolically changing identities and ideas of difference.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: GV Recreation Leisure ; HT Communities. Classes. Races