This paper focuses on how discourses of food have shaped understandings of what is at stake in the Greek crisis. Drawing from Karl Polanyi's concept of “embeddedness,” I argue that food is central to Greek interpretations of neoliberal policies and processes because of its centrality to Greek culture and identity. Food has also been a site of contested practices of “solidarity” and “charity” by which new social experiments are emerging in the wake of the breakdown of the welfare state. In arguing for food's centrality in the reshaping of Greek sociability, I will suggest that food be thought of not simply as a “topic” for anthropological investigation, but as a master-concept on the level of “kinship,” “ritual,” or “exchange” in any anthropological analysis of contemporary life.
“Let Them Eat Stuffed Peppers”: An Argument of Images on the Role of Food in Understanding Neoliberal Austerity in Greece: Edited transcript of a talk given by David Sutton on March 16, 2016, at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
David Sutton is Professor of Anthropology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Since the early 1990s he has been conducting research on the island of Kalymnos and has published three books based on this research: Memories Cast in Stone: The Relevance of the Past in Everyday Life; Remembrance of Repasts: An Anthropology of Food and Memory; and Secrets from the Greek Kitchen: Cooking, Skill and Everyday Life on an Aegean Island. The latter two explore food practices in relation to questions of memory, history, gender, and technology. He is also co-editor of The Restaurants Book and co-author of Hollywood Blockbusters: The Anthropology of Popular Movies.
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David Sutton; “Let Them Eat Stuffed Peppers”: An Argument of Images on the Role of Food in Understanding Neoliberal Austerity in Greece: Edited transcript of a talk given by David Sutton on March 16, 2016, at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Gastronomica 1 November 2016; 16 (4): 8–17. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2016.16.4.8
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