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Migration, nostalgia and the building of a food imaginary: Mexican migrants at "La Pulga" market in San Joaquin Valley, California

Migration, nostalgie et construction d'un imaginaire alimentaire: les migrants mexicains au marché "La Pulga", Vallée de San Joaquin, Californie
[journal article]

Vázquez-Medina, José A.; Medina, F. Xavier

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-46888-1

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Abstract In the context of transnational migration, ethnic markets function as segmented spaces where migrants as a group may be observed on many levels. Provisioning in the market (as much by immigrants as by natives or long-term residents) as well as the consumption of prepared food in situ compel a multiplicity of social interactions that facilitate knowledge and social relations, including recipes, memories, nostalgia, circulation of products and culinary techniques. In addition, a market can acquire a role as a meaningful transnational space of confluence for a system of relations and representations that help to decipher the complex social reality of subjects involved in a transnational migration phenomenon. With this paper we aim to highlight how a migratory context as well as the collectivization of a sensory experience as seen in an itinerant Mexican food market in California lead to the construction of a food imaginary related to Mexican food when it is disassociated from the original context in which it is produced. Thus, by means of an ethnographic approach, this paper aims to demonstrate how the collectivization of a sensory experience, framed under culinary nostalgia and triggered by the performativity and reflexivity of the subjects that take part in market activity, enables the construction of a food imaginary for the Mexican migrants that are regular clients of an itinerant market in California. (author's abstract)
Keywords migration; nostalgia; food; social relations; Mexico; food; United States of America; consumption; tradition; collective consciousness; cultural identity; ethnicity
Classification Migration, Sociology of Migration; Cultural Sociology, Sociology of Art, Sociology of Literature; Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnosociology
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 133-146
Journal ESSACHESS - Journal for Communication Studies, 8 (2015) 2
Issue topic The alimentary and gustative imaginary
ISSN 1775-352X
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-NonCommercial