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Apuntes de investigación del CECYP

versión On-line ISSN 1851-9814


COLABELLA, Laura. La casa, el comedor y la copa de leche: Los espacios de la comensalía en los sectores populares. Apunt. investig. CECYP [online]. 2012, n.22. ISSN 1851-9814.

Public spaces for commensality such as community lunchrooms and after-school snack centers are usually viewed as part of the urban poor's "strategy" for reproducing themselves, or as public "assistance" offered by the state to those who are unable to satisfy their basic needs; and also as political patron-client relationships in which those resources in circulation are exchanged for votes. Ethnographic studies on piqueteros (picketers) also take up these groups in order to justify how people end up getting involved in these movements. Here I propose a different kind of analysis of these spaces, aiming at those aspects more strictly tied to the meanings of commensality. The analysis is focused on a community lunchroom organized by a Peronist leader and a snack-center organized in one of the picketer woman's homes. This comparison will permit learning more about the dynamics of these circuits, but more precisely about the relationship between a moral dimension - revealed through practices such as gossiping and food taboos- and power relations that aren't limited to the neighborhood, but intermeshed with the state as government, its relationship with the governing party and social activism within this party; and its capacity to mobilize the greater part of its structure in order to neutralize a social conflict.

Palabras clave : commensality, politics, government, taboo.

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