Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

525

Date

2012

Date of Award

4-15-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Sociology

Committee Chair

Wanda Rushing

Committee Member

Seth Abrutyn

Committee Member

Junmin Wang

Abstract

This study examines continuity of place character, as made visible through food. A content analysis of two local vegetarian blogs and six local restaurants with vegetarian options allows meat to serve as a control, leaving elements of place character for direct observation. Language choices, images, and topical discussion were analyzed for their ability to highlight links between food, place character, and tradition. Results showed that Southerners expect food to facilitate the visibility of tradition, even in light of nontraditional diets. Compensatory tactics were employed to justify, explain, or apologize for any deviation from tradition, and most commonly took the form of personal narratives focusing on family, "Southern" cooking methods and ingredients, inspiration from traditional recipes, and locally sourced produce. From this research, continuity of place character is understood as deeply important, tradition is reaffirmed as visible, and food becomes a host for current and future sociological inquiry.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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