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Food culture as a political tool: meal construction during the Swedish EU-chairmanship 2001
Örebro University, Department of Restaurant & Culinary Arts.
Örebro University, Department of Restaurant & Culinary Arts.
2003 (English)In: Food Service Technology, ISSN 1471-5732, E-ISSN 1471-5740, Vol. 3, no 2, p. 89-96Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to analyse how the European Union (EU) ministerial meals during Sweden's EU-chairmanship 2001 were devised, and how the official representatives of Sweden chose to interpret and present a national image based on local and regional food identities. The manufacture of the Swedish culinary profile was compared with the same process during Finland's EU-chairmanship 1999 and Denmark's EU-chairmanship 2002. Sixteen professionals involved in the decision-making process in the three countries were interviewed in 2001 and 2002. The regional food profile chosen in Sweden supported different political goals such as the idea of the production of local food and local economic development. Local and regional food culture had a broad and open definition, but the decisions as to what constituted local and regional food culture as served at the ministerial meals were made at the top political level. The central decision-making process transformed the concept of a typical local and regional food culture into a political tool serving political goals, with the end product presented at different EU-ministerial meals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 3, no 2, p. 89-96
Research subject
Culinary Arts and Meal Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-3107DOI: 10.1046/j.1471-5740.2003.00069.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-3107DiVA, id: diva2:137015
Available from: 2006-09-07 Created: 2006-09-07 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The construction of food and meal culture for political and commercial ends: EU-summits, rural businesses and World Exhibitions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The construction of food and meal culture for political and commercial ends: EU-summits, rural businesses and World Exhibitions
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines how cultural values of food and meal culture were expressed and used by professional agents. The overall aim was to analyse and synthesise the interpretation and creation by professionals in commercial food and meal production of what they defined as a local, regional or national food and meal culture. Four groups of professional agents were interviewed on their use of food and meal culture as cultural value and form when: organising meals for ministerial meetings during Sweden’s first tenure of the rotating European Union presidency (chairmanship) in 2001 (political civil servants, meal editors, chefs and sponsors), producing and marketing food and meals in rural areas (restaurateurs, food producers and event organisers), branding food products with a place-related origin (marketing consultants), and when food products and meals were deployed in the international political arena of world exhibitions, 1851–2005 (political civil servants). Data was gathered using qualitative methods: semi-structured interviews, various observation techniques and analysis of contemporary and historical government and commercial documents. The analytical methods used were based on how agents in a field interact to negotiate the values significant in the field, and on how the use of cultural form as symbol affects the presentation. Culinary arts and meal science methodology as followed using ethnological research techniques. The results showed that food and meal culture for commercial and political use was carefully shaped to achieve specific professional goals: to be bought or accepted by the customer or citizen. Meals for EU ministers were designed to match those visitors’ apprehensions of high-status Swedish food and of local food and meal culture. In marketing situations, food product brands were created and shaped to match consumer ideas of place-related origin and ‘genuineness’. At world exhibitions, food and meals were presented as entertainment based on stereotypes of pre-existing food and meal culture. Concepts of the ‘commercial’ and ‘political’ dimensions became cultural values affecting the cultural form, demonstrating that in these cases culture was manufactured to be acceptable to its consumers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitetsbibliotek, 2006. p. 116
Series
Örebro Studies in Culinary Arts and Meal Science, ISSN 1652-2974 ; 5
Keywords
authenticity, commercial, cultural form, cultural value, food and meal culture, origin, political, professional
Research subject
Culinary Arts and Meal Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-615 (URN)91-7668-492-X (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-09-29, Gastronomiska teatern, Måltidens hus, Restauranghögskolan, Grythyttan, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-09-07 Created: 2006-09-07 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Tellström, RichardGustafsson, Inga-Britt

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