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Title:Peru's "Gastronomic Boom": critical perspectives on elite gastronomy and social food justice
Author(s):Bohardt, Meghan
Advisor(s):Manalansan, Martin F.
Department / Program:Latin American & Carib Studies
Discipline:Latin American Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.A.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):food
social justice
Peru
Abstract:This thesis is a critical reflection on the contemporary phenomenon of the “Gastronomic Boom” in Peru—a seemingly sudden surge in interest, development, marketing, and exportation of gourmet Peruvian cuisine. I examine this process looking at productions from the top and bottom of the social hierarchy in Peru. For perspectives from the top, I describe and critique the discourse of investment in gastronomy as a means of representing an entire nation in it’s cuisine, as well as a means of economic development and vehicle of social change. To get the view from below, I conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Cusco, Peru and surrounding areas. The informal interviews and participant observation, especially at community organizations such as Centro Bartolomé de las Casas and El Parque de la Papa, helped to ground this discourse and confirm assumptions about the local affects of the Gastronomic Boom, particularly on farming and indigenous peoples in the region. After analyzing cultural productions, such as a documentary film, that package the discourse on gastronomy, national identity and economic development as a means to social change, and comparing them to the articulations of resistance to thoroughly elite, neoliberal projects such as this, I take the position that the Gastronomic Boom as it currently stands exacerbates historical racial and economic inequalities in Peru. Using concepts of food justice, including food security, food sovereignty, food regimes, communities of food practice and food gentrification, I think through the Gastronomic Boom and discuss it’s potential for contributing to a substantive food movement that would take advantage of the success of this elite, upper-class gourmet project in getting food on the national agenda, but shift the meaning-making and production power to the campesino and indigenous peoples who grow the ingredients used to make Peruvian cuisine.
Issue Date:2014-09-16
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/50654
Rights Information:Copyright Meghan Bohardt 2014
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-16
Date Deposited:2014-08


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