Appetites and Identities: An Introduction to the Social by Sara Delamont

By Sara Delamont

Appetites and Identities is a transparent, inviting and interesting creation to the social anthropology of western Europe. It covers meals, migration, politics, city and nation lifestyles, magic, faith, intercourse and language in an obtainable and easy model, introducing the scholar to facets of the anthropology of up to date eu tradition from mussel farmers within the Netherlands to Basque chambermaids in Lourdes, and from unsatisfied bachelors in western eire to unwitchers in Portugal.Avoiding the technical language of many anthropological textbooks, Appetites and Identities units out the anthropological literature at the wealthy variety of dialects, cultures and daily lives of western eu humans, supplying attention-grabbing insights on how each one zone and group differs from its opposite numbers regardless of the idea of an built-in Europe. The ebook will stimulate interest approximately social anthropological research, and approximately existence in Europe this present day.

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Meat was a rare treat: ‘Few ate meat regularly, some only three times a year—at Easter, on the Feast of the Assumption in August, and on the feast day of the island’s patron saint’ (p. 146). If an engagement or wedding came along, or a relative returned from Athens, a meat meal would be provided (chicken, goat or sheep). There were a few rabbits, and some partridge to be hunted, but otherwise sausage and ham from the pig slaughtered in November would be the only meat. Fishing existed, but the majority of farming families could only afford to buy the cheapest species from the fishermen.

Cole’s (1991) research in Vila Cha—a fishing and farming village north of Oporto—is unusual in that some women there are actually sea-going ‘fishermen’. Most European maritime communities have a strict division of labour by sex, in which women stay on land, and men go to sea. Indeed, in many such communities, it is believed to be bad luck for women to go on board fishing boats. However, there are exceptions and Cole reports that ‘there are small fisheries in Brittany, Galicia, Sardinia, parts of Ireland, and parts of Sweden where women regularly go fishing with men’ (Cole, 1991:65).

This meal became a ritual. Considered in Egypt to be a poor man’s dish, in Paris the little brown beans became invested with all the glories and warmth of Cairo, our home town, and the embodiment of all that for which we were homesick. (1970:11) For Elizabeth David, then, Normandy is evoked by mussels, and for Claudia Roden, Cairo by ful medames, a little brown bean. For a Finn, it would be lakka (cloudberries) or puolukka (cranberries) or mustikka (bilberries) or reindeer meat. Food carries the history of the country or region, whether its modern inhabitants realise it or not.

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