Moving food: gustatory commensality and disjuncture in everyday multiculturalism

New Formations - ISSN 0950-2378
Volume 2011 Number 74

Moving food: gustatory commensality and disjuncture in everyday multiculturalism
Amanda Wise pages -


This essay draws on the fieldwork from three research projects undertaken in Australia between 2002 and 2007. The general research was concerned with investigating the phenomenology of everyday diversity as it was experienced in a number of spatial contexts (suburban, urban, regional, shopping mall, church and so on). Material interactions with food were found to be a privileged arena for experiences of living within a multi culture, and food consumption constituted a site for experiences of cultural anxiety and disjuncture as well as for prosaic forms of low-level cosmopolitanism. Living in common means living with common resources. Commensality - in its etymology - names the practice of eating at the same table; in its more general meaning it describes the practice of living together with others. This paper explores commensal practices that encourage convivial experiences of multiculturalism while also investigating how the experience of sitting down with others can exacerbate cultural differences.

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To cite this article
Amanda Wise (2011) Moving food: gustatory commensality and disjuncture in everyday multiculturalism, New Formations, 2011(74), -

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