This article uses Chinese food as a prism to analyze the process of globalization in Israeli culture since the 1970s. We describe three distinct eras in the evolution of culinary globalization within Israel: first, the appearance of a variety of foods and tastes perceived as representations of "other" nations; second, the commodification of these foods and tastes and their distribution via fast-food chains as mass consumption items (i.e. "McDonaldization"); and third, the creation of a cosmopolitan eating experience. The article also posits that the common perception of globalization in Israel as solely "Americanization" is flawed, as globalization also takes the form of an ethnic-national and a hybrid-cosmopolitan representation. Finally, our third argument indicates that Chinese food serves as a symbolic marker in the sphere of social stratification. In each of its mutations, Chinese food has operated as a token of status distinction. In the first era, Chinese food served to differentiate the emergent affluent class; in the second, it became inexpensive and commonplace, and hence lost its differentiating quality; and in its third, Chinese food reacquired upper-class associations when it became identified with fine cosmopolitan taste.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- !!Food Science
- !!Social Psychology
- !!Cultural Studies