Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Anthropology

First Advisor

Alejandro Cerón

Second Advisor

Frederique Chevillot

Third Advisor

Dean J. Saita


Anti-hunger, Commensality, Food-justice, Food-ways, Memory, Phenomenology


To explore how systems of meaning are formed and reformed over an individual’s lifetime in the context of food, meals, and commensality, this research applies a critical phenomenological lens to food-centered life histories centered on the life experiences of childhood, adulthood and the diffusion of food knowledge within a food centric community between individuals within age cohorts and across generations. Through reflective interviewing community members within Denver metropolitan area anti-hunger organization, this research is able to provide insight into several secondary questions, including: Is childhood a formative space for the cementation of these systems of meaning and value and do they persist into adulthood? How are commensal relationships experienced between commensals within a food centric community? Twenty food centric interviews are utilized to draw out an understanding that while childhood is a locus for individual meaning creation, the ‘sturdiness’ of these relationships of meaning over time is observed to be linked closely to the memories surrounding food as a practice rather than a rhetorical process of indoctrination. Change in adulthood appears commonly associated to changing commensal roles such as those of parent, caregiver, spouse; or shifts in health, economic stability, or social contexts. Diffusion of food knowledge between commensals is seen to occur based on two key factors, opportunity and desirability as defined by each individual.

Copyright Date


Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Lucor Jordan


Received from ProQuest

File Format



English (eng)


178 pgs

File Size

983 KB


Cultural anthropology