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Title: Activism through Commensality: Food and Politics in the Temporary Vegan Zone
Author: Le Grand, Yve
Advisor: Sobral, José Manuel
Keywords: Sistema alimentar global
Dieta alimentar
Movimentos sociais
Teses de mestrado - 2010
Defense Date: 2010
Abstract: Current issues and developments in the global food system of industrial meat production, distribution and consumption, and their detrimental impact on the environment have led various researchers and institutions to suggest that eating less meat and adopting a vegetarian, or even a vegan, diet would lessen the impact of GHG emissions into the environment. In this ethnography cum dissertation I present the fieldwork that I undertook with an environmental activist group based in Lisbon, Portugal in 2009. During the fieldwork 4 months of participant-observation I have studied the Jantar Popular (JP) that GAIA (Grupo de Acção e Intervenção Ambiental), an environmental NGO, facilitates every Thursday of the week, except for August.The food of the Jantar Popular is vegan, made with organic, GMO free, locally produced and socially just ingredients. A plate of food is available at cost price currently 3,00 or can be obtained for free by participating in any of the tasks at hand. This dinner is completely organized by volunteers, from planning the menu to cleaning up the space(s) at the end of the evening. Without volunteers there would be no dinner.During the Jantar Popular, the eater is bonding through food with the other eaters. Thus, commensality becomes an ideal tool for putting environmental food politics into practice through just' eating in common. At the same time, the JP turns into a Temporary Vegan Zone (TVZ), in the vein of Turner's 'communitas', as it becomes a temporary place where people can transcend their everyday experience of food.This dissertation deals with the Jantar Popular as a ritual meal where the food consumed expresses the political and cultural choices in terms of diet of the participants, building and reinforcing at the same time a sense of community of belief among them.
Description: Tese de mestrado, Antopologia social e cultural, Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Universidade de Lisboa, 2010
Appears in Collections:ICS - Dissertações de Mestrado

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