Date of Completion
Honors College Thesis
Global & Regional Studies
Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors
Dr. Teresa Mares, Ph.D.
Poland, post-socialism, food, transition, globalization
This thesis explores post-socialist cultural practices, globalization, and conceptions of modernity through the lens of food. Socialist influence remains visible in Poland’s collective memory, architecture, symbols, political and economic systems, and, as examined in this thesis, foodways. Linking macroeconomic and political upheaval with multigenerational ethnography, this project examines how everyday foodways have transitioned in Poland post-1989. Under socialism, chronic food shortages prompted Polish cooks to learn “…jak zrobić coś z niczego” (“…how to make something from nothing”). Ethnography with a typical middle-class Polish family reveals that they have incorporated new ingredients, recipes, and cuisines into their repertoire as the country has become more integrated into the global market. They retain, however, food practices that challenge Western conceptions of modernity, including growing home gardens, home-distilling liqueurs, and reviving regional culinary traditions. Combining ethnographic fieldwork in Poland with archival research using Przyjaciółka magazine, I explore perceptions and realities of life in the Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa (Polish People’s Republic) and the increasingly globalized orientation of the current generation.
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Fedrizzi, Julianna F., "Making Something From Nothing: Exploring Food, Transition, and Globalization in Post-Socialist Poland" (2016). UVM Honors College Senior Theses. 102.