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|Title:||Hazardous Taste: Perceptions of Diet, Health and the Environment Among a Group of Vietnamese in Canada|
|Advisor:||Herring, D. Ann|
|Abstract:||<p>This research presents a food ethnography of a small group of Vietnamese immigrants who live in Hamilton and Mississauga. Members of this community have previously been identified as consumers of fish and wildlife foods directly procured from the Great Lakes basin. I explore the symbolic, social, and nutritional place of fish and its relationship to perceptions of contamination, risk, and health in this group. I describe the socio-cultural, historical, and environmental context of this group of people with whom I conducted research in the summer of 1996. Ethnographic data was collected by means of participant observation during a five-week household placement with a Vietnamese family. In addition, I conducted interviews and cooking sessions among sixteen households. My findings reveal dynamic changes in Vietnamese dietary practices, including the diminished role of fish in their diet. I argue that for the Vietnamese people with whom I spoke, concerns about health and the environment are not a priority and therefore, from their perspective, they are not a risk group for Great Lakes contaminants. I show that what is accepted as risk is partly a political process and that the Vietnamese construct, negotiate, and manage risk in their own way. While the ethnography is a focused look at Vietnamese foodways and the role of fish within that context, the discussion of risk goes beyond the particular to larger issues surrounding the politics of fish consumption in this group. Finally, I make recommendations for further research and initiatives based on my findings.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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