Food, Drink and Identity in Europe

By Thomas M. Wilson | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION
FOOD, DRINK AND IDENTITY IN EUROPE:
CONSUMPTION AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF LOCAL,
NATIONAL AND COSMOPOLITAN CULTURE

Thomas M. Wilson


Abstract

Eating and drinking have increasingly been considered by scholars
in the humanities and social sciences as constituent elements in the
creation and reproduction of local, regional and national cultures
and identities in Europe. Such approaches are also part of the
newer scholarship on Europeanization and European integration
which has turned to issues of social identification in its attempt to
identify forces that will enhance or hinder the realization of an
ever closer union. This essay reviews some of the current concerns
in the scholarship on food and drink and their roles in identity
and identification in localities, regions and nations in Europe. It
also introduces the themes that link the historical and
contemporary case studies that make up the volume which it
precedes.1

Scholars have increasingly researched and theorized social eating and drinking over the last decade. This growing attention has sought to examine food and drink within their contemporary and historical social contexts, in order to explore the changing nature of these

1 Teodora Hasegan of the Department of Anthropology, Binghamton Univer-
sity, worked tirelessly on the preparation and copy-editing of this essay and the
volume it introduces, and Tanya Miller of the same department provided valuable
bibliographical support in the writing of this essay. I am grateful to them both.

-11-

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