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Title: Finding time in the geographies of food : how heritage food discourses shape notions of place
Author: Littaye, Alexandra
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 3384
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis presents a multi-sited and multi-scalar ethnography of the processes and practices through which producers attempt to designate food as heritage. Grounded in cultural geography, it adopts a cultural economy approach to addressing concerns within agro-food studies by joining in conversation notions of heritage, place-making and time. By underlining the intrinsic relation between articulations of time and constructions of place, this thesis further maps the alternative geographies of food. It engages with three overarching questions, drawing on research conducted within two heritage-based food initiatives in Mexico and Scotland, both linked to the Slow Food movement. These produce, respectively, a traditional sweet called pinole and 'real' bread. The thesis asks: what objectives are pursued through the heritagisation of food whereby various actors strategically coin foods as heritage? How is time articulated in the discourse of heritage food, and how do heritage food networks and producers understand time as a component of food quality? Finally, what senses of place emerge from the various uses of time as a quality in global, translocal and local heritage food discourses? This thesis explores Slow Food's heritage qualification scheme and the ensuing commodification of heritage food, as well as translocal networks, and practices of 'slow' production. Through empirical engagements it argues that the qualification of heritage foods is multifunctional and that various articulations of time enable small-scale producers to engage with a plethora of socio-economic and political issues. Numerous and at times conflicting constructions of place surface from the discourses woven around these two heritage products and problematise identity formation and narratives of the past linked to producers and communities. This thesis concludes that the constructions of place associated with heritage foods depend not only upon the authority and circumstances of actors articulating a heritage discourse, but also on the scale of the dissemination of that discourse, and on the notions and understandings of time associated with heritage and place.
Supervisor: Lorimer, Jamie Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Food--Social aspects ; Food habits--Social aspects ; Slow food movement ; Cultural geography ; Identity (Psychology)--Social aspects