Abstract/Details

Hungry for the taste of El Salvador: Gastronomic nostalgia, identity, and resistance to nutrithink in an immigrant community


2003 2003

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Abstract (summary)

This dissertation is an analysis of how, in the context of State governmentality, Salvadoran immigrants in the 1990s constructed a transnational identity and forged community through the symbolic use of their cuisine. Drawing from historical sources, including USDA documents, contemporary theory, including Foucault, Boym, and McCracken, and ethnographic data, I discuss the roles of power, memory and consumption in Salvadoran immigrants' encounter with the State. Historically, immigrants have been subject to State nutritional bio-politics: food and nutrition policy and programs that deploy a “technology of diet,” resulting in modern meanings for food, what I term “nutrithink,” and dietary discipline. But I demonstrate how undocumented and temporarily documented Salvadorans, especially those who migrated from rural areas, establish culinary sanctuaries and invent the “Salvadoran Ideal Meal” to resist State ascribed identities and dietary disciplinary tactics. To these ends, Salvadoran woman, I argue, “groom” food for their household and community to infuse it with meaning and to forge an identity otherwise unavailable to Salvadorans in the public sphere. This identity, a function of collective gastronomic nostalgia, links Salvadorans to an idealized past and a hoped for present and future, all of which they want to share with their children. But Salvadoran immigrants quest for an autonomous identity in the face State power and modernizing forces leads to many tensions, and these tensions ultimately become located on the bodies of Salvadoran-American children, lending, I suggest, to their high rate of obesity.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Cultural anthropology;
Minority & ethnic groups;
Sociology;
Nutrition
Classification
0326: Cultural anthropology
0631: Minority & ethnic groups
0631: Sociology
0570: Nutrition
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Social sciences; El Salvador; Gastronomic nostalgia; Identity; Immigrant community; Nutrithink; Resistance; Transnational identity
Title
Hungry for the taste of El Salvador: Gastronomic nostalgia, identity, and resistance to nutrithink in an immigrant community
Author
Stowers, Sharon L.
Number of pages
494
Publication year
2003
Degree date
2003
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 64/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780493997353, 0493997350
Advisor
Escobar, Arturo
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3078721
ProQuest document ID
305325383
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/305325383
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