Greek Diners: How Greeks Have Kept Traditional and Americanized Greek Foodways Alive in American Diners

Date

2014-10-21

Authors

Roth, Michelle L.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the connection between the social space of the American diner and Greek immigrant ownership of diners. Its aim is to understand what the relationship is between Greeks and American diners and how these relationships have been created. This thesis begins with a historical overview of events that sparked Greeks to immigrate to the United States and is followed by a brief history of the American diner in order to comprehend its place in American culture. These respective histories are important in order to understand how and when these two concepts became intertwined. In order to further understand how Greek immigrants and diners are connected, participant observation was conducted at three diners in Virginia. Interviews were conducted at two of the three diners. The diners are located in three different regional spaces: urban, suburban, and rural in order to examine the similarities and differences in customers, employees, diner owners, ingredients used, and the cost of food in the regions in which they are located. This study also looks at the roles that diffusion, regionalism, ethnic identity and the social construction of space have played in connecting Greek immigrants with American diners.

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Keywords

Diners, Greek immigration, Social space, Community, American culture

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