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Towards an Emotional Geography of Eating Practices: an exploration of the food rituals of women of colour working on farms in the Western Cape

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Eating and its associated activities are embodied, social practices that are meaningful and meaning-making. In order to explore the emotional geographies of eating practices, this article draws on a qualitative study of the everyday food rituals of female farm workers of colour in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Drawing on interview transcripts analysed using a social constructionist approach, three themes are elaborated, concerned with knowing, agency and community in relation to which the transformative potential of women's participation in food practices in the space of the kitchen is explored. In the ritual of preparing food, knowing is demonstrated as embodied activity with possibilities of corporeal transformation. As an embodied way of knowing, food-making also enhances women's sense of agency. Furthermore, eating rituals do not simply endorse a celebration of community, but call for a re-appreciation of women's positions and their power to shape relations and spaces of resistance.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Independent Scholar

Publication date: 01 January 2004

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