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The panel examines how a restaurant enables symbolic and material inclusion of migrants by addressing various aspects of the process within which migrants not only meet, work and socialize with non‑migrants but also engage in meaning- and memory-making in and with their new surroundings.
In public discourses, restaurants have long been seen as emblematic of migrants' presence and work, either as "ethnic" food establishments or as consumers of cheap migrant labor. While much has been written on the connection of food and displaced populations, substantially less is known about the symbolic and material circumstances of the link between migration and the restaurant, where "sensual and local, symbolic and global meet" and "where an exchange of culture and practices of social distinction take place" (Beriss and Sutton 2007). The panel seeks to examine how a restaurant enables symbolic and material inclusion of migrants by addressing economic, social, and cultural aspects of the process within which migrants not only meet, work, socialize and negotiate with non‑migrants but also engage in meaning- and memory-making in and with their new surroundings. We invite papers which discuss the ethnic restaurants' set up, the migrant labor in the catering industry, the cultural encounters between migrants and non-migrants as well as the transformations brought about the coronavirus pandemic that profoundly changed the ways we produce and consume food and also made migrants' positions within catering industry even more precarious.