Toronto Metropolitan University
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Gathering place: a literature review on the social role of immigrant-owned food businesses in diasporic communities

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posted on 2021-05-22, 15:57 authored by Janika Oza
The importance of foodways in diasporic communities makes restaurants and grocery stores significant sites where identity is reproduced and social, political, and economic interactions occur. Considering the prevalence of social isolation amongst migrants and the potential for networks and community to develop within food businesses, this literature review examines the role of immigrant-owned food businesses as cultural, social, and informational hubs amongst migrants. This paper provides a critical review of the international literature on the role of immigrant-owned food businesses within the last two decades. The main themes that characterise the literature are as follows: 1) identity and belonging, 2) community and social ties, 3) information exchange and networks, and 4) hybridity and cultural change. This research analyzes the social impact of these food businesses within immigrant communities and links these spaces to the context of social isolation and settlement-related challenges experienced by migrants. Key Words: Immigrant, food business, social isolation, settlement, community





  • Master of Arts


  • Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP

Thesis Advisor

Mustafa Koç