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Title: Performing home : à la Turca foodscapes in London
Author: Tosun, Neşe Ceren
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 6868
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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The research at hand investigates how home is performed through foodscapes by focusing on the Turkish speaking communities in London. It is based on the premises that food has a strong connection to not just where home is, but how it manifests itself at different scales and registers of food activities in the ‘here and now’ of so-called migrant communities. Home is therefore taken as an act of dwelling that is both constitutive of and constituted by the specificities of the site of habitation. Based on Ingold’s conceptualisation of dwelling perspective, the research argues that the migrant skills deployed around food are trained and practiced in response to the environment of habitation (1993, 2000) as opposed to being imported as innate skills from the country of origin. Explored through the acts of eating, cooking, serving, sharing, celebrating and talking about food puissantly problematises the frameworks of host & guest migrants and home & host nations. Reflecting upon the constitution of home through food therefore has a double function: it liberates migrant homes from the geographical dominance of a past country where they are from and at the same time recognises the site-specific manifestations of their skills “within the current of their involved activity, in the specific relational contexts of their practical engagement with their surroundings” (Ingold 2000, p. 186). The economic, social, cultural and affective mobilisations of the members of Turkish Speaking Community in London display the dynamism and heterogeneity that is inherent to both food and home. The variety of the ways in which the ethnically and linguistically diverse members of this vaguely framed group relate to themselves, to each other, to the city and to the larger discourses of community and nation are explored in this research through performative and multi-sited ethnographic tools. From shopping together with the participants for the dinner ingredients to formal interview settings, from cooking along to temporarily managing an eating out establishment, practicing with and within the contexts of the participants contributed to the knowledge formation for this research. Three interrelated yet distinct foodscape clusters emerged out of this research: Restaurants, British Kebab Awards and the households. The term foodscape here aims at encapsulating the multiscalar, interconnected, always in-the-making and at times inconsistent practices and discourses that emerge in each of these sites. Even though all ethnographic encounters took place in London, in a seemingly singular site, the research gained a multi-sited character due to the different power dynamics, ethnographic requirements, and different imaginaries offered by each of these clusters. These three registers, in their heterogeneity, show that home, looked especially through the lens of food, appears to be re-creative, generative, tactical, site-specific, and multifold series of dwelling acts, rather than being the geographical elsewhere of a migrant. By means of food, the migrant becomes the skillful dweller, and London becomes home.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: GT Manners and customs