«The Kitchen of the Revolution» Food and Working-class memory in the Bicocca Area (Milan, Italy)

Luca Rimoldi


Human and social studies on food have underlined the link between food and identity constructions and the role of food consumption in crafting new subjectivities. In my case-study, in addition to the "social pretext" for the creation of an ethnographic encounter, I interpret food consumption in a particular place as an attempt to build a historical (and geographical) continuity between present and the narrated past. The aim of this article is to show how, during my fieldwork research, food has been both an excuse to realize the ethnographic encounter and the vehicle to fill it with social meanings. Thus, my analysis will stress a specific connection between food consumption and working-class memory in a post-industrial area of the city of Milan (Italy) known as Bicocca. The article is divided into two sections: in the first one, I show how my presence on the ethnographic field and the consumption of food represent a part of the method to collect life stories that have fuelled my ethnography; in the second one, I focus on the value of the food consumed by some of my interlocutors in the Tuscan Trattoria "da Aldo", and on how it is linked to memory of a precise political agenda created during the Hot Autumn season at Pirelli Bicocca.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n3p778

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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