Kulturalisierung von Bier
In this application, we wish to expand our work on the cultural analysis of food in Bavaria and England by asking: how is beer, as a crafted and taken-for-granted and regional ‘food’, culturalised? Or, in other words, what role do references to ‘culture’ play in understanding taken-for-granted routines associated with beer as a particular type of staple food? The proposal outlines a regional Anglo-German examination and comparison of the cultural institutions, self-representations and routines which people construct, cling to and reconfigure in the social ‘project’ of forging meaning. Following our work on urban horticulture, research is directed towards beer as a regional product imbued with cultural significance, with particular emphasis on tradition, innovation and gender.
Two regions have been selected - Wessex and Upper Franconia - because of their broad comparability in terms of (i) size and (ii) evidence of traditional and innovative food production and processing in relation to beer, as well as support secured from two local, specialist museums. In Germany the focus is on Upper Franconia (esp. the area expanding from Bamberg to Hof), where beer traditions and their cultural institutions retain a high profile. In this project, Wessex will be represented by Dorset, Wiltshire, and Somerset (including Bath).
The overall research objective of fieldwork is to empirically examine (through interviews, focus groups and some documentary research) differences/similarities between the multiple culturalisations of beer of four two actor constellations: (i) brewers and their suppliers, (ii) inns and other public houses. An indicative number of 12-15 individuals from across these two categories will be engaged in each country to produce significant data.