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Synopsis

Thesis (M.A.) from the year 2004 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,6, LMU Munich (Amerika Institut), 229 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Two central concepts are relevant to define for the topic of this thesis. Firstly, the connection of food and culture needs to be clarified. How significant is food in the realm of culture? What cultural characteristics can be examined through the study of food? Secondly, the notion of cultural influence needs to be resolved. What determines cultural influence? What effects does the process of cultural influence have? Food is a day-to-day activity that involves every human being. Daily nutrition intake is essential to keep the vital body functions intact and is therefore a biological necessity. But food is more than that. Unlike animals, human beings transcended the stage in which instincts of survival determine the action of satisfying hunger. Food is bought, prepared, and consumed in every society around the globe. Food is not only basic principle of every economy, the activities around food have created a tremendous spectrum of different ways and meanings amongst all the peoples of the world. This makes food a particularly interesting topic for cultural anthropologists, as Carole Counihan and Penny Van Esterik conclude, 'food is life, and life can be studied and understood through food.'1Indeed, food as subject is of such interest that Alan Davidson recently published the extensive reference work 'Oxford Companion to Food.'

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