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Three Families—One Street: A Study of Culture, Food, and Consumption in East London


  • Authors’ Note: Caroline E. M. Hodges and Gemma Wiggins, The Media School, Bournemouth University. Please address correspondence to Caroline E. M. Hodges, The Media School, Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, Dorset, UK BH12 5BB; e-mail:


This ethnographic study explores the food acculturation experiences of three culturally diverse neighboring families living in East London. The main finding was that each family's food preferences reflected acculturation into a third culture—a cosmo-multicultural neighborhood (Home/world: Space, community and marginality in Sydney's West, 1997, Sydney, NSW: Pluto), and this was experienced through the consumption of other food places and other cultures. This contributes to the development of theory that considers food acculturation as a nuanced and complex series of experiences, shaped by the micro (family)-, meso (community)-, and macro (marketplace)-environments. The article also considers the value of ethnographic insights for organizations seeking to effectively engage with multicultural communities within the context of food, diet, and nutrition.