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Of Migrants and Meanings

Italians and Their Food Businesses in Brussels, 1876–1914

Series:

Olivier de Maret

The circulation of goods, ideas, and people has shaped a common European food culture. But practical questions pertaining to this process remain unanswered. How and why do changes in food habits occur and what are their implications? What are the social and cultural processes involved between hosts and migrants and how do they play out in the face of economic and political imperatives? This book addresses these questions through the combined study of food and migration in the past.
By building on studies in the fields of anthropology, geography, history, and sociology, the present monograph analyzes the public foodways of Italian migrants in Brussels at the turn of the twentieth century as a way of exploring how migrants used the business of food to construct meaning and articulate sentiments of belonging. It describes and discusses Italian neighborhoods, migratory patterns, occupations, and food businesses (i.e. cafés, restaurants, shops, and peddling activities) by applying quantitative and qualitative methods of interpretation to archival, business, journalistic, and photographic sources. The study bridges a gap in the historiography of Italian food and migration by providing a Western European counterpoint to Italian experiences in North and South America and a thorough discussion of the forging of Italianness outside of Italy at a crucial time in that nation’s history. This book ultimately underlines the creative and innovative role migrants play in the social and cultural processes that shape human societies.

BIC Classifications

  • Humanities (H)
    • History (HB)
      • Regional & national history (HBJ)
        • European history (HBJD)
      • History: earliest times to present day (HBL)
        • Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900 (HBLL)
      • History: specific events & topics (HBT)
        • Social & cultural history (HBTB)
  • Mathematics & science (P)
    • Biology, life sciences (PS)
      • Life sciences: general issues (PSA)

BISAC Classifications

  • History (HIS)
    • HISTORY / General (HIS000000)
    • HISTORY / Europe / General (HIS010000)
    • HISTORY / Europe / Western (HIS010020)
    • HISTORY / Europe / Italy (HIS020000)
  • Technology & Engineering (TEC)
    • TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Food Science (TEC012000)

THEMA Classifications

  • History & Archaeology (N)
    • History (NH)
      • European history (NHD)
      • History: specific events & topics (NHT)
        • Social & cultural history (NHTB)
  • Mathematics & Science (P)
    • Biology, life sciences (PS)
      • Life sciences: general issues (PSA)
  • Geographical qualifiers (1)
    • Europe (1D)
      • Western Europe (1DD)
      • Southern Europe (1DS)
        • Italy (1DST)
  • Time period qualifiers (3)
    • c 1500 onwards to present day (3M)
      • 19th century, c 1800 to c 1899 (3MN)
        • Later 19th century c 1850 to c 1899 (3MNQ)
          • Italy: National Independence & Risorgimento (1850–1861) (3MNQ-IT-N)
      • 20th century, c 1900 to c 1999 (3MP)
      • 21st century, c 2000 to c 2100 (3MR)