Food and immigration: the indigestion trope contests the sophistication narrative

Louise Edwards, Stefano Occhipinti, Simon Ryan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the emergence of indigestion metaphors within contemporary Australian discourse on immigration and race. It establishes connections between the indigestion metaphor and the more traditional tropes used to describe immigration-inundation, contamination and disorder. The appearance of the indigestion trope is related to the common perception that one of the indisputable benefits of immigration and multiculturalism has been the increasing diversity and sophistication of Australian cuisine. The examination of the ethnic inflection of reports on food poisoning illustrates the link between the indigestion and contamination tropes. The article argues that fears about non-European immigration and racial intermingling within a policy of state-sponsored multiculturalism are currently being expressed with indigestion and contamination tropes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-308
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Intercultural Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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