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Out of the melting pot and into the kitchen: identifying homemaking strategies of Mexican American home cooks in Pocatello, Idaho

By S.M. Kline

Abstract

Homemaking is a process of establishing heritage home cultural practices in a new country due to migration. For Mexican Americans in Pocatello, homemaking includes the active perpetuation of rituals and signs on the part of the private home cook. This is a unique process that has varying integration levels depending on an individual’s experience with migration. Ideally, homemaking aids in turning space into place in a host country. Homemaking also includes successful cultural transmission to subsequent generations born within the host country. This investigation outlines the ways in which Mexican American cooks use the private home kitchen space for processes of homemaking in Pocatello, Idaho. In order to do this a theoretical grounding for homemaking is established through descriptions of its central component parts: identity construction, individual agency and migration. This is followed by the synthesis of results of field research gathered in Pocatello, Idaho with homemaking theories. Within this, themes of place, knowledge and symbols are explained as means of homemaking for the Mexican American home cooks. These findings conclude that symbolic food use is an integral tool for Mexican American homemaking. Homemaking is a successful means of identity, cultural and social construction for Mexican American home cooks as well as a powerful tool used in adaptation to migrational pattern

Topics: Sociale Wetenschappen, Social Sciences & Cultural Studies, Latin America & the Caribbean, Homemaking, Mexican American, Migration, Private Space, Identity Construction, Agency, Symbol, Ritual, Food, Knowledge, Imaginary Homelands, Imagined communities, Transnational Identities, Power
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:dspace.library.uu.nl:1874/30292
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