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Home-food: Exploring identities around commensality and contemporary exchanges of hospitality

Urie, Gavin



This study explores the connection of food, and the meal experience with the concept of home. The growth of a foodie culture and the development of technology has witnessed a popularity of more intimate, unique, and personal food experiences. The phenomenon of Network Commensality - ‘social events structured around the meal that are organised online to attract interested individuals or groups’ (Urie, 2016) has seen meals taking place in a range of alternative settings (private homes, studios, churches) rather than the traditional settings of restaurants, cafes and bars. A qualitative approach to primary research (autoethnographic participant observation and interviews) was conducted on Network Commensality and the findings showed a clear and consistent connection between food and the concept of home. Through thematic analysis the key sub-themes of family, place, belonging and identity have been identified as strong indicators of how individuals understand, engage, and communicate through food experiences. The concept of home-food is discussed as a way of understanding how individuals engage with food and the meals they eat, and how Network Commensality can foster memorable food experiences in a more mobile and fluid society.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name Gastronomy Summit 2022
Start Date Apr 11, 2022
End Date Apr 13, 2022
Deposit Date May 30, 2022
Keywords home, ethical economy, commensality, hospitality, autoethnography
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