1. bookVolume 21 (2021): Issue 1 (June 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2067-5712
First Published
30 Aug 2019
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

“Nice Greek Girls Are Supposed to Marry Greek Boys … and Feed Everyone”: Food, Gender, and Ethnicity in My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

Published Online: 21 Jan 2022
Volume & Issue: Volume 21 (2021) - Issue 1 (June 2021)
Page range: 71 - 91
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2067-5712
First Published
30 Aug 2019
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) captures the complex life of a Greek-American family and the struggles of the main protagonist, Toula Portokalos, to reconcile her own desires as a second-generation immigrant with those of her ethnic parents, especially in terms of gender roles and expectations. In the movie, Toula's journey towards self-discovery as a confident woman is peppered with food references, as food represents an essential “ingredient” that brings and holds the family together. Therefore, this essay sets out to examine how food practices and choices are both a reflection of ethnic identity and of conflicting generational beliefs about gender roles and expectations in the traditional family portrayed in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Keywords

Anderson, Lynne Christie. Breaking Bread: Recipes and Stories from Immigrant Kitchens. Berkeley: U of California P, 2010. Print. Search in Google Scholar

Avakian, Arlene Voski. “Shish Kebab Armenians?: Food and the Construction and Maintenance of Ethnic and Gender Identities among Armenian American Feminists.” From Betty Crocker to Feminist Food Studies: Critical Perspectives on Women and Food. Ed. Arlene Voski Avakian and Barbara Haber. Amherst, MA: U of Massachusetts P, 2005. 257-280. Print. Search in Google Scholar

Bower, Anne, ed. Reel Food: Essays on Food and Film. New York: Routledge, 2004. Print. Search in Google Scholar

Bucuvalas, Tina. “Greece.” Ethnic American Food Today: A Cultural Encyclopedia. Ed. Lucy M. Long. Lanham, MA: Rowman, 2015. 225-234. Print. Search in Google Scholar

Counihan, Carole M., and Steven L. Kaplan. Food and Gender: Identity and Power. 1998. Rpt. Abingdon: Routledge, 2004. 132-153. Kindle. Web. 16 Feb. 2021. Search in Google Scholar

Gabaccia, Donna R. We Are What We Eat: Ethnic Food and The Making of Americans. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1998. Print. Search in Google Scholar

Heck, Marina de Camargo. “Adapting and Adopting: The Migrating Recipe.” The Recipe Reader: Narratives, Contexts, Traditions. Ed. Janet Floyd and Laurel Forster. London: Routledge, 2003. 205-218. Print. Search in Google Scholar

Inness, Sherrie A. Dinner Roles: American Women and Culinary Culture. Iowa City, IA: U of Iowa P, 2001. Print. Search in Google Scholar

Jurgens, Jane. “Greek Americans.” Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Ed. Jeffrey Lehman. Detroit, MI: Gale, 2000. 732-747. Print. Search in Google Scholar

Kittler, Pamela Goyan, and Kathryn P. Sucher. Food and Culture. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson, 2008. Print. Search in Google Scholar

Leer, Jonatan. “Gender and Food Television: A Transnational Perspective on the Gendered Identities of Televised Celebrity Chefs.” The Handbook of Food and Popular Culture. Ed. Kathleen Lebesco and Peter Naccarato. London: Bloomsbury, 2018. 13-26. Print. Search in Google Scholar

Lindenfeld, Laura, and Fabio Parasecoli. “Food and Cinema: An Evolving Relationship.” The Handbook of Food and Popular Culture. Ed. Kathleen Lebesco and Peter Naccarato. London: Bloomsbury, 2018. 27-39. Print. Search in Google Scholar

López-Rodríguez, Miriam. “Writing the Recipe for Subversion: The Creation of Patriarchy-Defying Communities by Means of Cookery.” Mapping Appetite: Essays on Food, Fiction, and Culture. Ed. Jopi Nyman and Pere Gallardo-Torrano. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2007. 68-84. Print. Search in Google Scholar

Lugosi, Peter. “Food, Drink, and Identity.” Food and Drink: The Cultural Context. Ed. Donald Sloan. Oxford: Goodfellow, 2013. 20-50. Print. Search in Google Scholar

McIntosh, Alex, and Mary Zey. “Women as Gatekeepers of Food Consumption: A Sociological Critique.” Food and Gender: Identity and Power. Ed. Carole M. Counihan and Steven L. Kaplan. 1998. Rpt. Abingdon: Routledge, 2004. 132-153. Kindle. Web. 16 Feb. 2021. Search in Google Scholar

My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Dir. Joel Zwick. Perf. Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, and Michael Constantine. Gold Circle and HBO, 2002. DVD. Search in Google Scholar

Orfanos, Spiros D. “A Contemporary Psychoanalytic Perspective on Greek-American Gender Arrangements.” Journal of Modern Hellenism 9 (1992): 9-18. Print. Search in Google Scholar

Parasecoli, Fabio. “Food, Identity, and Cultural Reproduction in Immigrant Communities.” Social Research 81.2 (2014): 415-439. Print.10.1353/sor.2014.0015 Search in Google Scholar

Rumbaut, Rubén G. “Ages, Life Stages, and Generational Cohorts: Decomposing the Immigrant First and Second Generations in the United States.” International Migration Review 38.3 (Fall 2004): 1160-1205. Print.10.1111/j.1747-7379.2004.tb00232.x Search in Google Scholar

Sourligas, Christos. My Big Fat Greek Cookbook: Classic Mediterranean Soul Food Recipes. New York: Skyhorse, 2019. Print. Search in Google Scholar

Vallianatos, H., and K. Raine. “Consuming Food and Constructing Identities among Arabic and South Asian Immigrant Women.” Food, Culture and Society 11.3 (2008): 356–373. Print.10.2752/175174408X347900 Search in Google Scholar

Wallach, Jennifer Jensen. How America Eats: A Social History of U.S. Food and Culture. Lanham, MD: Rowman, 2013. Print. Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo