Making connections through foodways: contemporary issues in anthropological and sociological studies of food

  • Liza Debevec Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
  • Blanka Tivadar University of Ljubljana
Keywords: proper meal, health, social differences, authenticity, tradition, culinary tourism


This article is an introductory discussion of a special collection of articles on food, all based on research that looks at the world through the food lens, exploring the role of food as a medium for addressing ‘controversies’ that are not necessarily about food. The authors highlight major theoretical concepts from anthropology and the sociology of food and eating which arise out of seven research articles based on ethnographies from Malta, Great Britain, Spain, Indonesia, Central America and Slovenia. The first part of this article discusses the concept of a proper meal and related subjects, such as homemade food, health and the medicalisation of the everyday diet; the second part introduces theoretical accounts of the role of food in the perpetuation of social and ethnic differences, the appropriation of foreign foods into local cultures, and the revival of ‘authentic’ food practices through the process of inventing traditions.