A. Miranda-Nieto, P. Boccagni: ‘At home in the restaurant: Familiarity, Belonging and Material Culture in Ecuadorian Restaurants in Madrid’   

HOMInG’s Alejandro Miranda-Nieto and Paolo Boccagni have just published a study of food and material cultures in “Ecuadorian” restaurants in Madrid as ways of homemaking and domestication in the public domain. The article is available as online-first in Sociology, the “flagship journal of the British Sociological Association”.
See the abstract below.

At Home in the Restaurant: Familiarity, Belonging and Material Culture in Ecuadorian Restaurants in Madrid

First Published May 4, 2020 Research Article


Making and consuming food are evident aspects in migrants’ construction and reproduction of memory, identity and belonging. Food consumption can also enable migrants to make themselves at home abroad by reproducing aspects of their past and relating them to particular places in the present. This article draws from ethnographic work in Ecuadorian restaurants in Madrid to investigate the ‘domestication’ of space through their material culture. It examines the representation and use of these restaurants to unveil multiple ways of displaying belonging and reproducing degrees of domesticity. Enacting private routines, embodying familiarity through food and decorating backbars are instances that reveal how the material arrangements in migrant-run restaurants facilitate the construction of a sense of home. From a sociological perspective, this article reveals how the boundaries between private and public, as well as migrants’ ethnicity and belonging, are constantly reshaped through material arrangements that operate as forms of domestication of space.