How Southern Food Speaks
This chapter details the concept of identity and places the book within the tradition of rhetorical scholarship. It argues that Southern food is a constitutive rhetoric, creating a people based on the shared experiences through the food, as well as the narratives surrounding the food. Using food experiences, oral histories, and readings of various alternative texts, it highlights the need to continue to move beyond “texts” to explore the rhetorical implications of “identificatory” experiences, such as food culture. By showing how our identities can be shaped through sensory experiences (taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound) and memory during Southern food experiences, we continue to develop the line of constitutive scholarship that explicates how our identities constitute our practices. Southern food, then, influences how we view ourselves and can therefore influence our practices, which is to say how we perform our Southern influenced identities.
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