Assessment topic: Factors influencing the maintenance of traditions
Trevor, C.O., Lansford, B. and Black, J.W. (2004) Traditional food taboos in an urban population. Journal of Food Habits, 113: 56-64.
This article examines the influence of traditional food taboos on the diet of city dwellers in south London. The authors use data gained through questionnaires and a series of interviews to try to identify the influences on food choice for 3 groups of first generation migrants from Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast. Their research assesses food consumed at home, in restaurants and at community events. They analyse the results in terms of motivating factors and of the nutritional content of the foods consumed. The article is useful to my essay, as Trevor et al. suggest that there are complex factors affecting the maintenance of traditional dietary patterns and the relaxation or tightening of taboos. The main limitation of the article is that it is very focussed on food, and does not draw out so many general points about the maintenance of traditions. However, it provides useful examples for my essay which could be related to the main points in the article by Brown et al., for example on the influence of community leaders, and some contrast with points made by Jones, such as indications of considerable loosening of food taboos in some groups related to the desire to appear modern and western.