Presentation Title

Food Trucks as Emerging and Ephemeral Spaces of Identity Creation in the Urban Landscape

Presenter's Name(s)

Rose Aline LillpoppFollow

Abstract

Although the rise of food trucks is a recent phenomenon in the US, these trucks have become staples in the lives of urban communities. The recent emergence of food trucks and the street food craze has meant that little academic research has been completed on the topic so far. However, as new actors in often contentious urban space, it is important that the role and effects of food trucks be studied. My research has applied the methodological approach of anthropology to better understand the role of food trucks in our local Burlington community. Through ethnographic interviews of truck owners and customers, as well as through participant-observation within truck spaces, I've explored the ways that trucks have operated as sites of identity creation and negotiation through the production and consumption of food. By focusing on current discussions surrounding vendor rights to space and the relationship of food trucks to other brick-and-mortar or street food vendors, my research has attempted to create a better understanding of how food trucks have adapted to and reshaped the Burlington community.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Luis Vivanco

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Anthropology

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

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Food Trucks as Emerging and Ephemeral Spaces of Identity Creation in the Urban Landscape

Although the rise of food trucks is a recent phenomenon in the US, these trucks have become staples in the lives of urban communities. The recent emergence of food trucks and the street food craze has meant that little academic research has been completed on the topic so far. However, as new actors in often contentious urban space, it is important that the role and effects of food trucks be studied. My research has applied the methodological approach of anthropology to better understand the role of food trucks in our local Burlington community. Through ethnographic interviews of truck owners and customers, as well as through participant-observation within truck spaces, I've explored the ways that trucks have operated as sites of identity creation and negotiation through the production and consumption of food. By focusing on current discussions surrounding vendor rights to space and the relationship of food trucks to other brick-and-mortar or street food vendors, my research has attempted to create a better understanding of how food trucks have adapted to and reshaped the Burlington community.