Sustainable food and cultural diversity: discourses and practices
Organiser: Elsa Mescoli, CEDEM – ULiège
This panel aims to discuss ongoing research on the ways in which cultural diversity is included or excluded in contemporary discourse and practice around sustainable food. More specifically, the aim is to unpack the normative approach to sustainability that also impacts on food-related issues, in order to analyse the extent to which cultural diversity finds space for expression within this approach. Cultural diversity is understood here as a set of practices which are not in the majority in the context under study and which, in the local imagination, are perceived as distant in content from the more familiar habits. This panel questions, more particularly, the integration of migrant food cultures into local discourse and practice on food sustainability; the power dynamics that operate in defining, identifying and supporting sustainable food habits; the influence of ethnocentric postures and colonial legacies on discourses about food and on the possibility of valuing (or not) practices associated with cultural diversity; the opportunities to negotiate and challenge dominant food cultures and produce cultural change from below, etc. These dynamics are analysed with reference to both urban and rural environments. This panel brings together presentations that address these topics from a theoretical and empirical perspective, drawing on first-hand data collected through qualitative and/or quantitative research methods. A multi-level approach will allow to consider the intersection of the spaces of action of these practices and discourses at macro, meso and micro levels.
For those interested in contributing to the panel as a presenter, co-chair or discussant, please write to
Panel proposals should include a 250-word abstract of the theme of the panel, together with min 3/max 5 thematically consistent and related 250-word paper abstracts. Submissions should also include the name, affiliation and contact details of the chair(s), discussant(s) and author(s) of each paper.