Representations of Poutine

By: Sarah De Montignys  

By exploring the various representations, understandings, and intersections of poutine within popular culture and the media, I suggest that we can find a pathway and insight into the evolution of cultures within Canada. As we think about food, we start to consider how Québécois and Canadians imagine their culture(s), and poutine offers a way to reflect, conceptualize, and share these articulations. As poutine is consumed, both physically and metaphorically, people can begin to experience aspects of Québécois and Canadian cultures and national narratives. Consequently, approaching poutine as a debated cultural symbol creates an alternative way to understand the complicated relationships between Québec and Canada and their imagined cultures. The following will demonstrate some of conflicting portrayals of poutine in the media where poutine has various contradictory representations in Québec, it is a marker of cultural pride, and a source of degradation and mockery. The conflicting representations of poutine as a cultural symbol in the media provide greater insight into the relationship between Québec perceptions of their culture, and into what happens when cultural symbols are moved into new cultural spaces. By using poutine as a focus, I aim to highlight elements that may go unnoticed and are often overshadowed in Québec and Canadian conceptions of culture.

Poutine, Identities, Food, Culture, Spaces, Quebec, Canada
Food, Politics, and Cultures
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Sarah De Montignys

PhD, Communications, Carleton University, Canada