"Local," "Ethnic," and "Rural" Food: On the Emergence of "Cultural Diversity" in Greece since its Integration in the European Union
- Journal of Modern Greek Studies
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 24, Number 2, October 2006
- pp. 415-445
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- Additional Information
In this case study, the unsystematic emergence of the politics of cultural diversity in a European-Union member state is examined from the perspective of the entanglement of food and national identity. Discussing the publication of texts on food generated in Greece during the last two decades, I explore the increasing visibility of a "diverse" Greek landscape, which signifies a departure from heretofore official definitions of national identity. In the selected texts, food becomes a site for endorsing the politics of "cultural diversity" and "multiculturalism," through use of categories such as "local," "ethnic," and "rural." Therefore, formerly "incompatible," or counter-hegemonic, versions of Greekness are [re-]deployed, thus contesting the version of an idealized mono-cultural national identity in public discourses. This emergence needs to be viewed as instances, not of subversion, but of a potential for alternative positionings vis-à-vis hegemonic definitions of national identity in the public sphere. The above emergence is strongly related to political, economic, and consumerist agendas pertaining to EU integration processes and marketplace imperatives.