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Engendering food meaning and identity for Southern Sudanese refugee women in Brooks, Alberta

  • Author / Creator
    Oleschuk, Merin
  • This thesis explores the food practices of Southern Sudanese refugee women in Brooks, Alberta, illustrating how foodways (Long, 2004) impact and reflect women’s conceptions of themselves as gendered, multinational citizens. These women’s relationship to food is an ambivalent one; simultaneous food maintenance and re-creation represents women’s understandings about themselves within intersecting cosmopolitan and local identities. Women use food to connect them to their Southern Sudanese, Canadian, and cosmopolitan identities, and therefore embody ‘actually existing’ cosmopolitanism (Robbins, 1998). Women demonstrate agency in their foodways as they utilize cosmopolitan praxis to gain status, address quotidian challenges, and question established gender norms. Ultimately, transnational foodways represent freedom for Southern Sudanese women as they indicate their willingness and ability to move through the boundaries of identification as needed. The result of this movement is not without tension and as women appropriate transnational foodways they negotiate the power encompassed in ethnic and national gendered identities.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2011-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R35059
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Anthropology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Vallianatos, Helen (Anthropology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • DeBernardi, Jean (Anthropology)
    • Kaler, Amy (Sociology)