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Fakultät für Lebenswissenschaften: Lebensmittel, Ernährung und Gesundheit

Juniorprofessur für Ernährungssoziologie – Jun.-Prof. Dr. Tina Bartelmeß

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Ernährungskultur und Integration - Masterarbeit zu vergeben!


Announcement: Empirical Master's thesis on the topic of food and acculturation in Kulmbach

Start date: as soon as possible

The Geschwister Gummi Foundation as well as the language promotion project "Schreibwerkstatt Grenzenlos" are committed to intercultural exchange among all cultures living in Kulmbach. Their work shows that food and cooking in particular play a central role in intercultural communication and understanding.

When people leave their familiar cultures, they carry their food cultures with them into their new communities. Food cultures describe the patterns of behaviour, beliefs and practices that are shared among a group of people. Food cultures are not exclusively static but can change dynamically and adapt to new socio-cultural circumstances (Rice & Liamputtong, 2020, p. 4). They are an important part of marking cultural identity. In the context of migration, change of residence and the entry of individuals into a new cultural space, food cultures can take on special significance. They become the object of acculturation, a process that every individual goes through when entering and living in a new cultural space (Berry & Sam, 1997). In this process, it is negotiated which aspects of the food cultures "brought with them" are retained and which are changed. According to scholarly discourse, this acculturation process can produce three outcomes: first, the retention of traditional food patterns (separation); second, the adoption of the host country's food patterns (assimilation); or third, the formation of bicultural food patterns (integration) (Satia-Abouta et al., 2002). Symbolically, food and corresponding cultural food patterns can help individuals express their cultural identity, revitalise a sense of connection and conformity to the original culture through the consumption of ethnic foods, and create memories of home in new places through the medium of food.

In regular joint meetings, cooking evenings or on special occasions, the services offered by the two practice partners show repeatedly the relevance of food and culture for the participants. The master's thesis will use qualitative research (e.g., semi-structured interviews, focus groups or participant observation) to explore the perspectives and subjective experiences of people who have moved to Kulmbach and are participants in the services offered by the Geschwister-Gummi-Foundation and the "Schreibwerktstatt Grenzenlos". The Master's thesis will specifically address the symbolic meanings that participants ascribe to their food practices in the context of acculturation. As part of the master's thesis, you have exclusive access to the participants. In case of language barriers, a translation (e.g., Turkish - English or Arabic - English) by individual participants of the services is provided.

Within the advertised topic, there is the possibility to sharpen the topic according to your personal interests.

If you are interested, please send a short letter of motivation (approx. 300 words) stating your degree programme, your current semester, and a possible start date for your thesis to tina.bartelmess@uni-bayreuth.de by 15 January 2023.


Berry, J.W., & Sam, D.L. (1997). Acculturation and adaptation. In J.W. Berry, M.H. Segall, & C. Kagitcibasi (Eds.), Handbook of cross-cultural psychology, Vol. 3: Social behaviour and applications (2nd edn.; pp. 291–326). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Fuster, M. & González, E. (2019) Traditional diets in everyday life: Perspectives from Hispanic Caribbean communities in New York City, Food and Foodways, 27:4, 316-337.

Kittler, Pamela G.; Sucher, Kathryn; Nahikian-Nelms, Marcia (2017): Food and culture. Seventh edition. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. Chapter 1, p. 1-33.

Satia-Abouta, J.  et al. (2002). Dietary Acculturation – Applications to Nutrition Research and Dietetics. Journal of the American Diabetic Association 102(8), pp. 1105-18.Dietary Acculturation—Applications to Nutrition Research and Dietetics.

Satia-Abouta, J. (2003). Dietary Acculturation: Definition, Process, Assessment, and Implications. International Journal of Human Ecology , 4(1), pp. 71-86.

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