The social and cultural role of food for Myanmar refugees in regional Australia: making place and building networks
Hughes, M in press, 'The social and cultural role of food for Myanmar refugees in regional Australia: making place and building networks', Journal of Sociology.
Published version available from
The social role of food has sustained growing interest in recent times. These studies become even more meaningful to sociological discussions when the research participants have faced multiple levels of disadvantage based on immigration status, ethnicity, experience of trauma, language abilities, and geographic location. This research maps the social and cultural food journeys of people from Myanmar to the regional city of Coffs Harbour, Australia. This interdisciplinary study uses focused ethnography and participatory/collaborative research methods to document and analyse food experiences. The findings reveal a positive settlement story, one where differences and challenges have been overcome and a resilient community has utilised networks built to confidently mark out its place in a new home. The role of food in bringing together communities and individuals, has allowed these networks to be strengthened.