The power of food : negotiating health and identity in Tehrangeles
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Through ethnographic research conducted in Tehrangeles, Los Angeles’ Iranian community, I explore how individuals construct their sense of identity and negotiate social capital through food and health beliefs. Focusing on the Iranian hot and cold system, a feature of humoral medicine, I examine how Iranians living in Tehrangeles embrace or disavow this system based on their positionality in society and their understanding of the larger transnational power dynamics between Iran and the United States. Likewise, this ethnographic account explores other aspects of life between two cultures such as sexuality, gender, race, modernity and belonging. Together, it paints a nuanced picture of Tehrangeles that makes space for the complex and often incongruent ways in which individuals construct their sense of self and self-worth within larger transcultural discourses.