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Behind open doors: restaurants and food culture in Kosova

Canolli, A; (2014) Behind open doors: restaurants and food culture in Kosova. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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My dissertation is grounded in a thick ethnography of restaurants as social and material sites in Prishtina, the capital of Kosova. I argue that Kosovar food culture is characterised by its peasant, Ottoman and socialist past. Yet, in the current phase of state-building, Kosovars are constantly seeking to appropriate different ideas, models and practices to construct, reproduce, negotiate and affirm their social and national identity. My ethnography is phenomenologically rooted and dialogically conducted as an embodied approach to the study of commensality, conviviality, sociality and performance in gastronomic ‘third places.’ I look at both spatial and placial aspects of the foodscape as materialised in restaurants. In chapter one, I focus on the Kosovar society in general and Kosovar food culture in particular. Here, I canvas a general foodview of Kosova with particular focus in its socialist past. Then I move to chapter two to discuss relevant literature in the anthropology of food, and my methodology. In chapter three, I focus on ‘banal gastronationalism’ and ‘culidiversity’ as produced, practiced and consumed in restaurants. I also argue that local tradition is represented in the process of appropriating, negotiating and performing culture. In chapter four, I analyse the ways in which ‘village’ food, ‘fast food’ and ‘our food’ have become objectifications of morality, modernity and ideology. This chapter provides a view of foodways, food ideologies, food movements and local coping strategies. In chapter five, I turn to discuss café culture. I argue that cafés play a crucial role in the formation, production, reproduction and exchange of identification capital, public sphere and community building. In the final chapter, I conclude by summarising my thesis and argue that anthropology of postsocialism may benefit from the study of food and restaurants.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Behind open doors: restaurants and food culture in Kosova
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from ethesis.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1452980
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