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Engaging Cultural Narratives of the Ethnic Restaurant: Discursive Practices of Hybridity, Authenticity, and Commoditization

Studies in Symbolic Interaction

ISBN: 978-1-78052-156-5, eISBN: 978-1-78052-157-2

ISSN: 0163-2396

Publication date: 14 October 2011

Abstract

This study uses ethnographic methods to explore the discursive practices that give life to ethnic restaurants, establishing identity, and addressing community engagement. Employing postcolonial and postmodern perspectives that discuss discursive practices of hybridity, authenticity, and commoditization, the research focused on five culture-specific restaurants: Irish, Italian, Korean, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern. The restaurants' stories are studied through observation, interviews, and the situated approach as discussed by Denzin (1994). The findings suggest that some restaurants openly embraced hybridity, defied and debunked stereotypes, and resisted hegemonic constructions of individuals and of culture by enacting narratives of defiance, while others attempted to maintain traditional images or commodify the culture. Using the situated approach revealed a post-postcolonial tension between certain restaurants within the community.

Citation

Patric Clair, R., Clarke Holyoak, I., Hill, T.E., Rajan, P., Angeli, E.L., Carrion, M.L., Dillard, S., Kumar, R. and Sastry, S. (2011), "Engaging Cultural Narratives of the Ethnic Restaurant: Discursive Practices of Hybridity, Authenticity, and Commoditization", Denzin, N.K. and Faust, T. (Ed.) Studies in Symbolic Interaction (Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 37), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 135-161. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0163-2396(2011)0000037009

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited