Globalizing the Local: Restaurants, Racial Identity, Gentrification, and Immigration

Monday, July 14, 2014: 6:15 PM
Room: Booth 57
Oral Presentation
Sharon ZUKIN , Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY
The globalization of cuisines takes place in sites ranging from the family dinner table to fast food franchises, with the integration of new products, new production techniques, and new taste criteria into traditional formulas.  Located between the private, domestic space of the family and the public, mass-market space of McDonalds, neighborhood restaurants and modest takeout food shops provide a middle ground of individual action and collective provisioning where globalization reshapes local identities.  Much of the globalization is carried out by demographic changes, with the entry of immigrant and "creative" entrepreneurs who both replace old restaurant owners but open new kinds of restaurants and food stores.  But globalization is also encouraged by the entry of menus that define traditional cuisines in new ways, repositioning them, on the one hand, in a new global culinary order and, on the other hand, in changing local markets.  Recent changes in restaurants in a majority-black neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, suggest that the global migrations of cuisines help to create more complex social, racial, and local identities.