Accepted Paper:

Russian food shops in Israel and Germany: different national symbolic participations and virtual transnational enclave  

Author:

Julia Bernstein (J.W. Goethe University Frankfurt am Main)

Paper long abstract:

The paper focuses on affiliations of migrants constructed and performed through material objects, namely, food practices as a symbolic area, a kind of alternative "food language" and implying, creating, and re-confirming "cultural tales."

The "construction of food as heritage, of taste as a skill, of the quality of life as quality of food" assumes special important emphases and meanings in migration when different "national cuisines," cultural heritages, and "social worlds" interact and clash, but yet have to co-exist with one another.

In describing and analysing Russian food stores as a controversial transnational informal framework of everyday life that serve as a home and "place-making practice" in both contexts this paper discusses multiple imageries within Russian food stores in Israel and Germany. Different narratives about imagined national collectives co-exist, mark their frontiers in this framework and often struggle for their role, place, and significance with regard to notions of migrants' collective identities in Israel and Germany.

Panel W018
Material culture, migration and the transnational imaginary