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Alimentation and Acadienité : food and cultural identity in rural Nova Scotia tourist destinations


Alimentation and Acadienité : food and cultural identity in rural Nova Scotia tourist destinations

Vacon, L. Charlene (2007) Alimentation and Acadienité : food and cultural identity in rural Nova Scotia tourist destinations. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Two and a half centuries after the devastation of l'Acadie in The Deportation, one may still think of oneself as Acadian. In this dissertation, I examine how people from the birthplace of l'Acadie today use eating and food in understanding themselves this way. Through fieldwork in the Acadian communities of Nova Scotia between 2002 and 2004 and in auto-ethnography, I examine symbolic and affective processes of alimentation that I find are imperiled by contemporary economic relations. Our sense of ourselves as a group that is achieved in these social processes I term acadienité . In this dissertation, restaurants are the entry point for examining alimentation in acadienité . Restaurants are an essential part of tourism development, as it is presently undertaken in Nova Scotia. Tourism development here is an economic discourse that devalues localized culture produced by and for the local people, what Braroe (2002) terms ethnologic culture, valuing 'ethnic' culture instead. It cannot be dismissed outright, however, since tourism development promises relief from the economic trials that plague the people of rural Nova Scotian communities. I argue that the locals' own practices and narratives of alimentation are indicative of alternative, counter-hegemonic social processes that offer the possibility of an authentic ethnic Acadian-ness. The 'ethnic cuisine' that is postulated within economic discourses is challenged by local practices and narratives that draw heavily from the peoples' ethnologic representations and experiences of Acadian-ness. While I raise questions about the long-term prospects for Acadian cultural vitality given the ongoing ethnicization of Acadian villages, I find reason to be hopeful insofar as the Acadian people continue to struggle to define ethnic Acadian-ness in terms of our heritage, emotion, cultural narratives, and ethnological selves. I have reason to believe that the Acadians' sense of acadienité is, in fact, strengthened in this struggle to define our ethnic selves in the face of tourism development and economic relations

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Vacon, L. Charlene
Pagination:xi, 257 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Communication Studies
Thesis Supervisor(s):McCartney, Andra
ID Code:975377
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:07
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:40
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