Autoethnography on Foodways An autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural experience (ethno).[1] You will be analyzing your own relationship to foodyour beliefs and behaviorsand how those relate to larger cultural patterns, or folkways. This exercise will be three paragraphs: 1. A description of you and your food. Summarize the main food-related folkways you practice. Some examples could be that you eat mostly fast food, which you pay for with the money you earn at your job; you eat mainly home-cooked meals that you or someone else prepares and pays for; you eat what your family eats; you eat certain kinds of food because you have moral or ethical concerns about eating other foods; you eat certain kinds of food because you believe them to be healthy; you eat popular, trendy, or exotic foods for new experiences. (These are just examples to get you thinking about your relationship to food and why you behave the way you do.) The main components of this paragraph: sentences about WHAT and HOW you eat and WHY you do it that way. This paragraph is about you. 2. Describe your assumptions about how people in general in the U.S. eat. This will include a description of mainstream U.S. society (what does mainstream mean?), but also should address specific groups within U.S. society. For example: think about the identity markers of race/ethnicity, class, and gender. How do your ideas and behaviors concerning food relate to larger patterns in society? What ethnic or national folkways do you participate in? How does your class background influence the types of foods available to you or the choices you make? How does your gender influence your relationship to food preparation and consumption? More generally, are there current movements, such as the Slow Food movement or the Buy USA movement, that you sympathize with? The main components of this paragraph: a sentence defining and listing mainstream U.S. foodways, sentences about how you participate in mainstream foodways, and sentences about how your race/ethnicity, class, and gender influence your participation in U.S. foodways. This paragraph is about you in relation to U.S. society. 3. Reflect on your relationship to food. Is there anything you want to change about your food-related folkways? Why or why not? Main components of this paragraph: sentences describing your reasons for or against changing your foodways. What do you value or prioritize in life, and how is that reflected (or not) in your ideas and behaviors about food?

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