Food consumption practices have come to play an increasingly prominent role in debates within the social sciences following the ongoing recognition, since the 1960s, of their central importance in the construction, reproduction and modification of social and cultural identities. However, these practices have, so far, been considered primarily among the middle and upper-middle classes, as if the capacity to feed and nourish oneself on the basis of one’s own tastes were a prerogative reserved exclusively for those with a certain level of income. The two qualitative studies which will be referred to in this article have, in contrast, sought to throw some light on how people whose situation is difficult or marginal seek to satisfy their own food requirements. One fact emerges that unites everyone, rich and poor, Italian and foreigner: the value of food in daily life as an indissoluble link with one’s homeland, and with one’s individual and family history. Through cooking, the preparation of food, the use of traditional pots and pans, the eating of festive and holiday meals, people taste once again a sense of self and of their own history, often in the face of very difficult conditions which, however, never reduce the practice of eating to a merely instrumental or bodily process.
|Translated title of the contribution||[Autom. eng. transl.] Feed the body, feed the cultural memberships. Widespread needs between vulnerability and normality|
|Title of host publication||Cibo e alimentazione tra bisogni e culture|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|