Why should we care? Two experiences in the politics of food and food research

Keywords: food studies, food politics, positionality, academic power relations, gastronomy field, public engagement

Abstract

The aim of this article is to analyse the political aspects of food and their significance as an object of study. The first author of the article has studied Polish society as an insider, while the other author had previously conducted research in other countries and three years ago started exploring Poland and Polish gastronomy, finding himself in the role of outsider. Both scholars have been recently working together. The power relations between the societies and the academic worlds from which they come from turned out to be crucial to the research dynamics and became one of the paper’s key interests. Three main topics provide the structure of the collaborative paper: 1) the question of the authors’ positionality; 2) food as a phenomenon that is intrinsically political, and the legitimacy issues related to its study within academia and to scholars’ engagement outside it; and 3) the power and inequality dimensions of food research. The authors agree that inextricable connection of food and politics has not only an academic or theoretical dimension, but impacts the realities of people’s lives.

 

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Alber, Jens, and Urlich Kohler. 2008. “Informal food production in the Enlarged European Union.” Social Indicators Research 89, 113–127.

Bachórz, Agata. 2018. “‘It’s just a constant exchange of containers’: distribution of home-made food as an element of Polish family lifestyles.” Etnografia Polska 62 (1–2), 131–145.

Bachórz, Agata. 2019. “Drzwi otwarte i życiowa szansa: kreowanie gastrocelebrytów w programie Master Chef Polska.” Kultura Popularna, 95–108.

Bennett, Karen. 2014. “Introduction: the political and economic infrastructure of academic practice: the ‘Semiperiphery’ as a category for social and linguistic analysis.” In The Semiperiphery of Academic Writing, edited by Karen Bennett, 1–9, London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bilewicz, Aleksandra, and Ruta Śpiewak. 2018. “Beyond the ‘Northern’ and ‘Southern’ Divide: Food and Space in Polish Consumer Cooperatives.” East European Politics and Societies and Cultures 3(33), 579–602.

Bjelić, Dušan I. 2017. “Bulgaria’s Zionism, The Colonization of Palestine and The Question of Balkan Postcoloniality.” Interventions 19 (2), 218–237.

Boni, Zofia. 2017. “It’s safe: food as a way of expression for children in Warsaw.” Children’s Geographies 16(4), 393–404.

Boni, Zofia. 2019. “Introduction: losing appetite for the EU? Tensions around food in Central and Eastern Europe.” Appetite 140, 305–308.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1993. The Field of Cultural Production. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

Buchowski, Michał. 2004. “Hierarchies of Knowledge in Central European Anthropology.” Anthropology of East-Europe Review 22(2), 5–14.

Buchowski, Michał, and Hana Červinkova. 2015.“On rethinking ethnography in Central Europe: toward cosmopolitan anthropologies in the ‘peripheries’.” In Rethinking Ethnography in Central Europe, edited by H. Červinkova, M. Buchowski and Z. Uherek, 1–20, London: Palgrave Macmillian.

Caldwell, Melissa L., Elizabeth C. Dunn, and Marion Nestle. 2009. Food & Everyday Life in the Postsocialist World. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Canagarajah, A. Suresh. 2002. A Geopolitics Of Academic Writing. Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Cebula, Michał. 2018. “Wszechstronność upodobań kulinarnych. O dystynktywnych i komunikacyjnych właściwościach jedzenia.” Forum Socjologiczne 9, 131–150.

Červinkova, Hana. 2012. “Postcolonialism, postsocialism, and the anthropology of east-central Europe.” Journal of Postcolonial Writing 48(2), 155–163.

Chowaniec-Rylke, Anna. 2018. “Fat-free, high in calories. Management of diets in the case of a rare metabolic disorder.” Studia Humanistyczne AGH 17(2), 31–41.

Counihan, Carole, and Psyche Williams-Forson. 2012. Taking Food Public.Redefining Foodways in a Changing World. New York: Routledge.

Dias-Lewandowska, Dorota, and Gabriel Kurczewski. 2018. Wino i historia. Studia z historii wina w Polsce. Tom 2. Warszawa: Stowarzyszenie Historyków Sztuki Oddział Warszawa.

Domański, Henryk, Zbigniew Karpiński, Dariusz Przybysz, and Justyna Straczuk. 2015. Wzory jedzenia a struktura społeczna. Warszawa: Scholar.

Drzał-Sierocka, Aleksandra. 2014. “Food film na opak. Antyestetyczny wymiar jedzenia w filmach Wielkie żarcie, Super Size Me oraz Kucharz, złodziej, jego żona i jej kochanek.” In W garnku kultury. Rozważania nad jedzeniem w przestrzeni społeczno-kulturowej, edited by Aleksandra Drzał-Sierocka, 225–245, Gdańsk: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Katedra.

Dumanowski, Jarosław, ed. 2016. Staropolskie przepisy kulinarne. Receptury rozproszone z XVI–XVIII w. Źródła drukowane. Documents compiled by Jarosław Dumanowski, Dorota Dias-Lewandowska and Marta Sikorska. Warszawa: Muzeum Pałacu Króla Jana III Sobieskiego w Wilanowie.

Dunn, Elizabeth. 2004. Privatizing Poland: Baby Food, Big Business and the Remaking of Labour. New York: Cornell University Press.

Dürrschmidt, Jörg, and York Kautt, eds. 2019. Globalized Eating Cultures: Media and Mediatization. Cham: Springer Nature Switzerland.

Duszak, Anna. 2006. “Looking globally, seeing locally: exploring some myths of globalization in academia.” Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses 53, 35–45.

Fisher, Andy. 2018. Big Hunger. The Unholy Alliance Between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

Goszczyński, Wojciech, Ruta Śpiewak, Aleksandra Bilewicz, and Michał Wróblewski. 2019. “Between imitation and embeddedness: three types of Polish alternative food networks.” Sustainability 11, 1–19.

Gramsci, Antonio. 2000. The Antonio Gramsci Reader, edited by David Forgacs. New York: New York University Press.

Hilgers, Mathieu, and Eric Mangez. 2014. Bourdieu’s Theory of Social Fields: Concepts and Applications. London: Routledge.

Hryciuk, Renata. 2018. “Tortilla Tour. Turystyka kulinarna w zglobalizowanej Oaxace, południowy Meksyk.” Studia Socjologiczne 4 (231), 149–173.

Hryciuk, Renata. 2019. “La Alquimista de los Sabores: gastronomic heritage, gender, and the tourist imaginary in Mexico.” Revista del CESLA. International Latin Studies Review 24, 3–28.

Jarecka, Urszula, and Anna Wieczorkiewicz, eds. 2014. Terytoria Smaku: Studia z Antropologii i Socjologii Jedzenia. Warszawa: Instytut Etnologii i Antropologii Kulturowej UW, Wydawnictwo IFiS PAN.

Jehlička, Petr, Tomáš Kostelecky, and Joe Smith. 2013. “Food self-provisioning in Czechia: beyond coping strategy of the poor: a response to Alber and Kohler’s ‘Informal Food Production in the Enlarged European Union’ (2008).” Social Indicators Research 111, 219–234.

Jehlička, Petr, Miķelis Grīviņš, Oane Visser, and Bálint Balázs. 2020. “Thinking food like an East European: a critical reflection on the framing of food systems.” Journal or Rural Studies 76: 286–295.

Jung, Yuson., Jakob A. Klein, and Melissa L. Caldwell, eds. 2014. Ethical Eating in the Postsocialist and Socialist World. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Kleśta-Nawrocka, Aleksandra, and Rafał Kleśta-Nawrocki. 2017. “Między lokalnym iwentem a turystycznym megaiwentem kulinarnym. Przygody Festiwalu Smaku w Grucznie.” Czas Kultury 2 (192), 92–98.

Kołodziejczyk, Dorota. 2013. “Gdzie jest miejsce dla Europy Środkowej i Wschodniej w przestrzeni postkolonialnej? Możliwe trajektorie podróży.” Porównania13, 9–27.

Kopczyńska, Ewa. 2017. “Economies of Acquaintances: Social Relations during Shopping at Food Markets and in Consumers’ Food Cooperatives.” East European Politics and Societies: and Cultures 31 (3), 637–658.

Kopczyńska, Ewa. 2018. “How food fears frame criticism of the food system.” Studia Humanistyczne AGH 17(2), 79–96.

Kopczyńska, Ewa, and Agata Bachórz. 2018. “Food fears, food distrust and food exclusion in one postsocialist culture. And beyond.” Studia Humanistyczne AGH 17(2), 7–13.

Krukowska, Joanna, and Dorota Rancew-Sikora. 2018. “Social contexts of food exclusions.” Studia Humanistyczne AGH 17(2), 43–62.

Krukowska, Joanna. 2017. “Miejsce społecznych inicjatyw kulinarnych w polu kultury wielkomiejskiej.” In Pomorskie poszerzanie pola kultury: dylematy – konteksty – działania, edited by Cezary Obracht-Prondzyński and Piotr Zbieranek, Gdańsk: Nadbałtyckie Centrum Kultury, 210–225.

Laclau, Ernesto, and Chantal Mouffe. 1985. Hegemony and Socialist Strategy. London and New York: Verso.

Łeńska-Bąk, Katarzyna. 2010. O pokarmach, smakach i utraconych znaczeniach. Historia kultury „subspecie culinaria”. Opole: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Opolskiego.

Müller, Martin. 2019. “Goodbye, Postsocialism!” Europe-Asia Studies 71 (4), 533–550.

Matta, Raul. 2019. “Celebrity chefs and the limits of playing politics from the kitchen.” In Globalized Eating Cultures. Mediatization and Mediation, edited by Jorg Dürrschmidt and York Kautt, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 183–201.

Michalak, Agata. 2018. “Fatalité de la maison – food trauma in post-transition Polish pop culture.” Studia humanistyczne AGH 17(2), 15–29.

Milewska, Monika. 2018. “Chleb równości na stołach braterstwa. O jedzeniu w czasach rewolucji francuskiej.” In Ab Occidente Referunt… „Zachód” doby nowożytnej w badaniach historyków polskich, edited by Mariusz Markiewicz, Katarzyna Kuras and Rafał Niedziela, 1–15, Kraków: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego.

Mroczkowska, Joanna. 2019. “Pork politics: The scales of home-made food in Eastern Poland.” Appetite 140, 223–230.

Nader, Laura. 1972. “Up to Anthropologist – Perspectives Gained from Studying Up.” In Reinventing Anthropology, edited by Dell H. Hymes, 284–311, New York: Pantheon Books.

Nestle, Marion. 2002. Food Politics. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Nestle, Marion. 2018. Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat. New York: Basic Books.

Newmann, Lenore, and Katherine A. Burnett. 2013. “Street food and vibrant urban spaces: lessons from Portland, Oregon.” Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability 18 (2), 233–248.

Parasecoli, Fabio. 2019. Food. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Parasecoli, Fabio, and Mateusz Halawa. 2019. Global Brooklyn. Designing Food Experiences in World Cities. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Parham, Susan. 2012. Market Place: Food Quarters, Design and Urban Renewal in London. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Poppendieck, Janet. 2010. Free for All: Fixing School Food in America. Los Angeles and Berkeley: University of California Press.

Rajtar, Małgorzata. 2019. “Normalised Eating and Dietary Guidelines in LCHAD Deficiency.” Ethnologia Polona 40, 91–108.

Sikorska, Marta. 2019. Smak i tożsamość. Polska i niemiecka literatura kulinarna w XVII wieku. Warszawa: Muzeum Pałacu Króla Jana III w Wilanowie.

Smith, Adrian and Alison Stenning. Beyond Household. 2006. “Economies: articulations and spaces of economic practice in postsocialism.” Progress in Human Geography 30 (2), 190–213.

Smith, Joe and Petr Jehlička P. 2007. “Stories around food, politics and change in Poland and the Czech Republic.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 32 (3), 395–410.

Sobieraj-Sikorski, Aneta. 2019. “The Many Faces of Postcolonialism: Poland After 1989”. Midwest Slavic Conference. Ohio State University, April 6–7.

Solier de, Isabelle, 2008.“Foodie makeovers: public service television and lifestyle guidance.” In Exposing Lifestyle Television. The Big Reveal, edited by Gareth Palmer, Farnham: Ashgate Publishing House, 65–83.

Stasik, Agata. 2018. “Granice nielegalności. Śliwowica Łącka w perspektywie antropologicznej.” Lud 102, 279–299.

Stenning, Alison, and Kathrin Hörschelmann. 2008. “History, geography and difference in the post-socialist world: or, do we still need post-socialism?” Antipode 40(2), 312–335.

Straczuk, Justyna. 2018. “Risk and trust – food-related concerns and ‘good’ food procurement strategies – from research into eating practices in Poland.” Studia humanistyczne AGH 17 (2), 15–29.

Stronciwilk, Agata. 2019. “A theater of taste.” In Interlanguage, Anna Królikiewicz, 175–191, Gdańsk: Akademia Sztuk Pięknych w Gdańsku.

Wagner, Izabela. 2012. “Selektywna analiza problemu publikacji humanistów i przedstawicieli nauk społecznych w języku angielskim.” Przegląd Socjologii Jakościowej 1, 166–187. http://www.przegladsocjologiijakosciowej.org (accessed 15.07.2020).

Warczok, Tomasz, and Tomasz Zarycki. 2014. “(Ukryte) zaangażowanie i (pozorna) neutralność: Strukturalne ograniczenia rozwoju socjologii krytycznej w warunkach pół-peryferyjnych.” Stan Rzeczy 1(6), 129–158.

Published
2020-12-18
How to Cite
Bachórz, A., & Parasecoli , F. (2020). Why should we care? Two experiences in the politics of food and food research. Ethnologia Polona, 41. https://doi.org/10.23858/ethp.2020.41.2301