Introduction This paper explores how ethnic restaurants could be a stepping stone towards both sides of the spectrum of in? of multicultural society. A Home to people of manymuch different ethnic backgrounds, Britain is certainly a multicultural place. ContempoaryContemporary Britain has been one of the countries that have experienced a rapid growth of population through the process of international immigration(Piccolo and Thomas 2001). This increases the population diversity, generating a variety of different cultural communities; reshaping the socio-cultural and economic structure of the nation.
Britain has arrived to the Age of migration and minority. The ‘differences’ of different cultural groups can coexist in an environment with joyously embrace, celebrated and harmony, or in an environment with disagreement, mistrust and clashes (Thompson 2003). Hypotheses Many different variables can affect the progression of multiculturalism; the ethnic restaurants industry is only part of the bigger picture. Hence, both the internal and external variables from the ethnic restaurant industry will be study.
However, this paper will be more focus to the following hypotheses: (this line doesn’t make sense) 1) Does the role of ethnic restaurants acts as a barrier or a stepping-stone on the process of multiculturalism?. 2) At whatich level of the society does ethnic restaurants plays athe largest role on the process of multiculturalism. These hypotheses will be explored and in depth, with theories and ideas supplying the foundation of the paper and the findings will be examined with a case study to test out the findings in relationship with the reality.
Methodology The methodology will be based on research on the ideology of multiculturalism in terms of food as a symbol of multiculturalism, and the relationship of ethnic restaurants with multiculturalism. The research will consist of both primary and secondary research; the background knowledge about the ethnic restaurants industry is mainly based on relevant journals and other resources, the ideology of multiculturalism and its relationship with the ethnic restaurants will be split into two separate sections.
This allows the ideas of the theories to have equal weight. Following this, will be distinguishing the main factors that have the prime impacts on the progression of multiculturalism and at which level of these factors have the most affect, which is my hypotheses. With adequate amount of ideas and theories in similar field written by a range of authors from different background been examined and explored, a self-constructed case study will be mounted. Investigating how the ideas from the secondary research relate to the reality.
An ethnic restaurant will be chosen, the restaurant have to be a restaurant that are similar to the type of restaurants that have been studied from some of the authors that have been researched in the literature review section. The type of primary research will be through observation and interviewing some of the main players within the restaurants, both the staffs and the customers. By interviewing the different players of the ethnic restaurant, I can start building up some of the insight of the kind of knowledge the stakeholders of an ethnic restaurant have on the idea of multiculturalism.
The paper will be concluded with a summary of the main findings from the research and how the findings tie in or contradiction to reality, the case study. This is an important part of the paper, as this will prove if the theories behind do or do not occur in reality. It finishes off with some personal insights and any further improvements that could be useful if this paper is to be research in the future. The personal insight s based on the findings of the paper, and further improvement includes some of the difficulties that have arises during the course of the research and the case study constructed.
It will be useful for any research if they were to be interested in this topic. Literature Review General Background Since the 1970’s there has been a rapid increase in ethnic entrepreneurship in Britain. This had been argued as a survival strategy for ethnic groups toward deindustrialisation, many immigrants which were initially recruited for low-skilled manual jobs have to adapt to the changes of economic structure from manufacture to service based economy(Jones and Ram 2003).
With the ever increasing upward trend of eating out in the British economy (Ram, Sanghera et al.2000; Ram, Jones et al. 2002), many ethnic groups have eyeds this as an opportunity in order to survive the transitional phase of the nation. , Thisthe trend of a more diverse diet of the British economy helps the ethnic minority, as ethnic minority with the knowledge of unfamiliar food have a comparative advantage in entering the ethnic cuisine business (Ram, Sanghera et al. 2000). However, the speed and growth of ethnic entrepreneurs entering the market exceed the market potential, hence creating a market that is overcrowded (Ram, Jones et al.2002) or a market with hyper-competition (Jones and Ram 2003).
As we progress to the 21st century there have been periods of time that the growth in the number of the ethnic cuisine market to slow down, however, there have been an increase in the quality of goods and services provide with ethnic cuisines (Ram, Sanghera et al. 2000). We take the Italians for example, when the Italians first started their catering business in Britain; at the beginning they started with pizzeria or dinner, as the start-up cost to the business is relatively low.
, Today, and nowadays this has progressed to white-tablecloth restaurants where the return of investment is much greater. There have been similar patterns of creating a more upscale business where returns are greater (Ray 2005), also known to some as the bottom-up theory in the catering industry(Riello 2006). Another argument to the shift from quantity to quality in ethnic cuisine is that of the increase in expertise in the business sector from the second generation of the ethnic minority. As mentioned before the rapid growth of ethnic cuisine market is one of the survival strategy adopted in the period of deindustrialisation.
With the growth of the second generation from ethnic groups, some of the barriers of the first generation of entering the market are removed. (For example, language/communication barrier removed) Second generation ethnic entrepreneur eyes the ethnic catering industry not as a survival strategy, but rather a strategy to climb the income ladder(Ram, Sanghera et al. 2000; Ram, Jones et al. 2002; Jones and Ram 2003; Riello 2006). Ethnic cuisine have been embedded into the modern society this is partly due to the dynamicity of the economic structure of the nation, the ethnic cuisine industry have also adopted with this dynamicity and restructure itself to establish into the restaurant industry.
With the second generation of the ethnic minority becoming more skilled and well adopted in the economy, the nature of the industry have also changed. Food as symbol of culture The importance of consumer behavior in the western society is the contribution in the creation and adaptation to the level of acceptance to new commodities and social habit. The idea of a changing pattern of consumerism plays an important role in the general acceptance of different culture.
Food can be assumed to be a commodity to an economy, and different ethnic cuisine supplies different cultural based ‘product’, hence ethnic food to an certain extents is known as an cultural commodity (Ray 2005), and ethnic restaurants, with the increasing trend of eating out acts as a catalyst towards a general acceptance of different cultural social habit(Riello 2006). Catering has been seen as a symbol of culture, this is due to the fact that different ethnic foods have its own identity, quality and traditional attach to it(Ram, Jones et al.2002).
Similar to other culture symbols: such as places of worship, ethnic restaurants share some of the fundamental purpose that occurs in places of worship. They both provide a gathering place for groups with common believes, and educating its users to get a feel of the message it is trying to get out. In addition, there are different symbols of culture in different method of eating, similar to different methods of praying. The symbol of cultural relating to the method of different method of eating is very strong.
, Examples includesuch as the usage of different cutlery, generally in European catering, the main usage of cutleryscutleries are knifes, forks, and spoons, and in the south-east Asian the main usage of cutlery is chopstick. These different methods of eating can be seen as different symbols of food or culture. (Bruckner 2006; Hussain and Miller 2006) Food culture is also associated to class differencest; there have been a long history of catering in relation to class, this is due to the history of strong class separation in the western society.
For example: in the 18th century, during the north European renaissance the Italians culture has played an important role in every aspect of living, Italian food and catering included. The taste of Italy has soon become the cultural leader in western society. During that period, the Italian food industry all around Europe was experiencing an increase of acceptance of the Italian catering. However, this surge in the interest of Italian food is not totally due to the taste and quality from superior of skills in catering, but also the cultural associations.
(Riello 2006). These long histories of food in association with culture and class have repeated itself with different culture depending on the trend and fashion with the leading culture group. Should I do into class segregation or should I concentrate on culture? In recent history, there have been increasing trends of a more diverse style of catering; this is due to the fact that, the numbers of choices of different ethnic restaurants have increased dramatically, especially south-eastsoutheast Asian cuisines.
This is due to the effects that south-eastsoutheast Asians cuisines have been seen as a health diet, hence creating a brand for Asians catering to be a symbol of healthy diet. I will find reading that will support this point. Food in relationship with multiculturalism Multiculturalism has been an increasingly popular ideology to modern society. This is caused bye the increase in convenience of international migration due to the increase in technology that enable people to move around the world with less significant amount of effort.
Furthermore, the general reshaping of social and economic structure with the aid from processes such as globalisation. One can say that today’s societies have become more diverse than any other time in history. With such as diverse groups of people with different ethnic, religion, and social background, people have came up with different ideas and models that will accomplish with the increase in diversity of culture group living in the same society.
One of the main ideologies of multiculturalism is the balance of power of similar and different groups interacting in close proximity to each other. (Jesudason 1997; Ram, Jones et al. 2002) Should I expand or try to put the arguments of multiculturalism together? Diffusion of different groups One of the main aspects of multiculturalism is how the process of the diffusion of different groups merges into the same society. The advantages and disadvantages of the level of diffusion of different groups merge together. merge. (Thompson 2003; Ray 2005) Advantages:
Groups of different culture background merging togethermerging will stimulate an environment of a richer sense of culture. The learning and teaching of different culture meanings will benefits and enhance the standard of living and the standard of well-beings of all the different groups within in the society. With the increase of acceptance and tolerance of groups of different ethnic, religion and social background will reduce or remove any chances of discrimination or racial riotrivet, which, which in history have results in some of most devastating and dramatic historical events.
Disadvantages: The losst of identity and beliefsve of different cultural groups will eventually create a society of ‘no difference? t’. Reducing the varieties of identity within a society will damage of possibility of a multicultural society. I have difficulty trying to explain this following idea, I do understand the 2 different approaches, but putting it on paper is difficult…. Differences of Groups The most difficult ideology behind multiculturalism is how to verify the differences of groups. In general there are two approaches in verifying the differences of groups:
An indifferences approach towards different: The indifferences approach towards different is that instead of identifying different groups in the level of differences in relation to other groups. One will try identifying different groups with the amount of similarity of the members. This approach strongly emphasis on the idea of equality, assuming everyone is equal. This sounds like a more appropriate approach; however it eliminates the importance of different identity in every single member of the group.
A differences approach towards different: The differences approach towards different is identifying the level of differences between groups. Opposite to the indifferencesindifferences, approach towards different. This approach shows that all members of a group will still have individual personal level of different. It also takes into consideration that cultural do not follows the rule of universalism, meaning everyone will be different no matter what culture group they are in. Tool or Barrier?
In the restaurant industry there is a very strong ethnic based pattern of recruitments, part of the reasoning behind this is the strong cultural background behind ethnic restaurants. Firstly, catering is one of the classic niches traditionally occupied by ethnic minority, since the cultural identity is of the utmost operational importance. In the case of the operation within the kitchen, it is surrounded with a working environment that consist frequent activities with rushed orders, since in most ethnic restaurant the type of food produced are catered with ethnic chefs.
The importance of communication inside the kitchen is essential. This is one of the push factors for any workers with different language skills to operate in this working environment(Ram, Sanghera et al. 2000; Jones and Ram 2003; Ray 2005). Secondly, similar to other service based businesses, the working hours for employees in the restaurants industry can be argued to beas unsociable. , Tthis is due to the fact that in the catering industry the ‘rush hours’ are the hours that can be assumed to be the most ‘sociable hours’ (Ram, Sanghera et al. 2000).
Due to the natureal of the catering industry of being serving users for their social activities, This can be deduce as the opportunity cost for people related to the catering industry of forgoing their own social time for the return that they get, in this case wages for working. (this line is too long and I cant see how to make it smaller cos I don’t understand it!! ) A And a lot of ethnic restaurants are is supported with strong family ties and cultural support. , Iit is very common for an ethnic business to operate with a high level of family involvement, and this could be part-time of or full-time involvement.
These high levels of family support have been adopted by the ethnic group in their survival strategy that has kept them in the businessThe ethnic group in their survival strategy that has kept them in the business has adopted these high levels of family support. , FAas family support do not only offers support financially, but also physically and morally, and it is the physical and moral support that have kept the ethnic entrepreneurship to stay in the competitive market rather than the financial support.
The idea of converting culture or loyalty into capital capital, thatthat can be use as an advantagesan advantage in order to stay competitive against much better resourced organisations. With these reasons, the pattern of the employment in ethnic restaurants has a much higher concentration of ethnic group than most other type of organisations. This can act as a barrier for different ethnic minorities working in restaurants to diffuse into the society.
Firstly, the language barrier will be harder to break, as the language used in the workplace will most probably be their native language. The language barrier should be the first barrier to break in order for people to diffuse into the surrounding society, as communication is one of the fundamentals of any kind of social interaction. In the case of working unsociable hours, this is also another barrier for employees related to the catering industry to diffuse with the society, as the ‘timing’ to interact with people are limited, reducing the chance and pace of which they can diffuse into the society.
Finally, with the high level of family involvement in the restaurants industry, this is a ‘micro’ scale compared to the other two examples mentioned before. By this I mean, the higher the concentration of family involvement in the business the more isolated the group is to the surrounding society. , Tas the only people that they will be in contact is their family members again creating a barrier by reducing the level of interaction to the surrounding society.
As mentioned before one of the functions of restaurants is to bring people of similarity together, acting as a gathering point and educating its users., Inin this instance,case it is the culture and the traditional of the ethnic food they can trying to educates it users. Ethnic restaurants like other businesses are located in areas of high demand of the product (Jesudason 1997; Ray 2005; Riello 2006), as ethnic food is a cultural commodity, most ethnic restaurants are located in area of higher concentration of ethnic population, this is to increase the number of possible customer of the ethnic restaurants, which makes economic sense.
As in some casescases, an ethnic restaurant is focusing on a niche market. By having an distinctive focus group of potential customers, they can become an ultimate ethnic monopoly (Ram, Sanghera et al. 2000). Again with the increasing trend of eating ethnic food, and the increase of the level of acceptance of ethnic food, an ethnic restaurant will be a gathering point of both similar and different groups.
This can act as a tool as an opportunity for similar and different group to congregate together, both learning and teaching about they culture background, achieving one of the theory of multiculturalism, which is people from dissimilar groups gather together in an environment with joyously embrace, celebrated and harmony(Thompson 2003). (cut this sentence into two) The idea of going to restaurants with a different ethnic background is that it offers a taste, quality and an environment that is different from ordinary cuisine.
The experience of been in an environment of different culture background is one of the main attraction of ethnic restaurants and the reason behind the surge in the popularity of ethnic restaurants(Ram, Jones et al. 2002). Taken the theory of consumerism into account, if there is a higher level of consumption in any goods or services, the general acceptance of the particular goods or services will also increase. Hence the increase in the consumption of ethnic food will increase the general acceptance of ethnic food (Riello 2006).
As catering can be seen as an art, meaning catering and art both share some common proprieties such as producing a product that will educate and sent out an message to the user, with the increase in the level of general acceptance of ethnic food, the user will become more and more aware and appreciate the artist (in this case the chef), and similar to a piece of art, user will also start to appreciate the cultural background and the historical aspect behind the method and ideology of catering as the same as they admire the food.
(Hussain and Miller 2006; Pickett 2006) (cut this into 3 sentences) Does this final part make sense? Case study Case study will be constructed after the x’mas holidays; this is due to the fact that the time just before x’mas is the high season for any restaurants. After the x’mas period they will ‘hopefully’ give me an interview more willingly which I can have better answer/results. The Case Study will be based on a modern Japanese restaurants situated in the city, where there is a high concentration of Japanese oversea organisation near by.
The main focus of the case study will be on the awareness of people in the catering industry on some of the ideas that I have mentioned in the paper Some stats on the recruitment pattern, try to find evidence that will support the ideas I have mentioned… * And find any points that will go against my ideas, and then try to find the reasoning behind the disagreements. This is a self-constructed case study; the aim of this case study is to test out some of the findings earlier in thisof the paper. Firstly, does the role of the ethnic restaurants acts as a stepping-stone, or barriers towards the progression of multiculturalism., Ssecondly, at which level of this in the society does ethnic restaurants, have the most impact towards multiculturalism.
The case study is carried out in order to test out some of the main findings from the literature review. It is based on interviewing and talking with the different actors in the chosen restaurant, this is the best way to know what different actors feels about ethnic restaurants, questions will include general conception of ethnic restaurant and the relationship with multiculturalisms. Observation of the restaurant will also play an important role in my case study.
This is due to the fact that is difficult to talk to all the different actors of the restaurant, as a high percentage of the actors will be the customers of the company, and the interview will be main be done during the operational time of the restaurant. The findings will be first be analysed? is in the sections, and some of the ideas from the case study will be concluded in the conclusion section at the end of the paper. Saki Bar and Emporium is located at Farringdon, at the heart of the city of London.
One of the main selling points of the restaurant is to integrate modern Japanese technology into the design of the restaurant. This have acted as one of the main attraction to both Japanese and non-Japanese customers. “Some of these technologies are very common in Japan…for Japanese customers coming here, I hope that this will make them feel closering to home, and for European customers it is simply an attraction point. ” Manger Director of Saki Ms. Ayako Like many ethnic restaurants, the staffs are mainly with the same ethnic background.
The kitchen staffs in Saki are also the same, most of them are Japanese, expect for one or two, however, these non nativesexceptions can speak fluent Japanese. The waiting staffs have a more diversity in terms of ethnic background, ranging from Japanese, Chinese, to Spanish and English. However, the concentration of Japanese waiting staff still contributes more than 50% of the total. The communication within the kitchen is through the language of Japanese, and the communication on the floor is through English.
Thaned the communication between the floor staff and the kitchen staffs is mainly Japanese, hence a translator is often used to communicatein the progress commutating to one another. In terms of customers, around 50% of the customers are Japanese, however, this is still a very high proportion, as the population of Japanese in London is relatively much lower than that. “Is always good to walk in a Japanese Restaurant surrounded with Japanese, this means that the restaurant can’t be too bad…I much prefer Japanese chefs, it will be strange having a European cooking Japanese for me” European customers of Saki.
For customer with a different ethnic background this is an opportunity to learn the culture and some of the traditional relating to catering. For example, the greeting of the Japanese culture is very strong. Hence, by entering and exiting the restaurant, customer can experience the shouting of welcome and thank you in Japanese, which in the western society can be assume to be rude. “I always wonder what exactly do they say to me when I enter her…I guess that is what their culture is. ” European customer of Saki.
This high concentration of Japanese customer can be cause by the cultural loyalty that have been mentioned before, this loyalty can be converted into capital that can be used in order for a more successful ethnic based restaurants. This culture loyalty aids the idea that ethnic restaurants can be used as a general gathering point for people with similar ethnic background as food is a culture commodity “I haven’t got used to eating sandwiches for lunch yet, I prefer having rice as part of my meal…also coming here sometimes I see my friends” Japanese Customer of Saki.
To surmise, several of my findings from the literature do relate in reality. Firstly, ethnic restaurants have adapted to the changes of the economic structure of the nation, and moving from quantity into quality dinners. Secondly, in terms of food in relation to culture, the general acceptance of the Japanese food culture for Europeans is relatively high, for example, the idea of eating raw fish is general accepted. Ethnic restaurants can act as a gathering point for groups of similar background. Ethnic restaurants in terms of multiculturalism as expected do play an important role in both as a stepping-stone and a barrier.
The recruitment pattern of ethnic restaurant follows the trends of other ethnic restaurants that have been studied in my literature review, as the kitchen been mainly of staff with the same ethnic background, and the floor been a more diverse. The culture support is higher than expected as the culture loyalty was very high in Saki Bar and Emporium. As expected from the case study, it shows that ethnic restaurants can be both a stepping-stone and a barrier in the progression of the multiculturalism, and these two occur simultaneously and it is difficult to determine which side of the scale it tilts.
Depending at which levels and groups one look into, the result of ethnic restaurants can be determined, however this depends on how one verify the groups, with a difference approach or an indifference approach towards differences. Conclusion This paper looked into some of the issues that have been under researched by scholars and academicsresearchers in this field; however there has been an increase of interest of some of the ideas explored in this paper. More and more scholars are in the process of examining and exploring the idea of the restaurant industry in relation to issues of culturalism.
The first point to note is that the idea of the progression of a society towards multiculturalism is indefinite, it is still an ideology. Also there a numbernumerous of different definitions of a multicultural society, some can argue that there are already societies that followssocieties that follow the same characteristics of a multicultural society and via versa. The aim of this paper is to explore some of the issues that are surrounding the restaurant industry in contrast to the progression of a multicultural society.
In the paper I have examined why the restaurant industry can act as a barrier and a tool towards the idea of multiculturalism. However, the levels of effectiveness of each of these variables have not been examined, nevertheless I can conclude that the different variables are acting on the issue of multiculturalism simultaneously, acting as a barrier and tool at the same time. (this sentence doesn’t make sense) However which way of the balance restaurants will have on the idea of multiculturalism will be very difficult to measure.;
Thisthis is due to the fact that there are too many different variables both internal ad external with the catering industry that can have an effect on the progression of a multicultural society. (Reuck, A & Knight, J 1966) In the case study I have found out that the recruitment pattern of ethnic restaurants do apply in reality, as staff with similar ethnic background is preferred not only in the operation of the restaurant, but also it is more appealing‘pleasing’ forto the customers, as they prefer an environment with a higher concentration of people in an ethnic restaurants.
This factor reduces the langue barrier within the restaurant; on the other hand it also reduces their skill to speack the English language. OneWhich is one of the largest barriers that a foreigner hasve inon a foreign country is, as communicating with people. It is is essential to communicate fluently but in, without this essential skill, especially in the restaurant industry, where the working hour is both ‘unsoicalise’ and long, withhich produces a relatively smaller social sphere, one can live without this essential communication skill much longer than other professions.
TheWith the recruitment pattern within the restaurant industry is heavily concentrated with the same ethnic background from various reasons, the restaurants industry follows some of the theories that the paper have been explored. The working environment of ethnic restaurant act as a barrier for its staff to merge with the rest of the society, due to the nature of the working hours of the industry, along side with the high concentration of the ethnic groups, changing minority to majority.
This changing from minority to majority within the working environment makes the environment of the industry unique. (Bensman, J & Arthur, J 1975) Referring back to the ideology of multiculturalism, either depending on which approach one might use to tackle the restaurant industry, by differences, or indifferences approach towards different. The outcome will be different. In addition, the level of scale of the issue will also change the outcome.
For example: an ethnic restaurant can aid the progression of multiculturalism in the wider society, but at the same time, it acts as a barrier to the progression of multiculturalism in the society created in the working environment. Finally, this section will examine some of the difficulties occurred during the course of the paper, and suggestion of improvement if some of the ideas from this paper is to be explored in the futurerther. Firstly, due to the limited time, and manpower, some of the ideas have only been examined on the surface; each sections of the paper can be explored in more detail.
For example, due to these restrictions, the case study is only based on one restaurant; one obvious improvement is to look into a more and diverse range of ethnic restaurants. This paper looks at only one ethnic group, but, ifwith more restaurants werebeen look into, one can start to identify similarities and differences in different ethnic groups. This would be a interesting topic to look into as the similarities and difference might or might not follows the culture of the ethnic background.
Further more, one of the main difficulties is the limited sources that are available for my literature review research that is directly related to this paper. However, as mentioned before this is a field that is becoming more popular among scholars and researchers, one can only imagine the number and quality of the sources are increasing everyday. more conlusion on the case study Biography Bensman, J & Arthur, J (1975). Metroplitan communities; new forms of urban sub-communities. New York, New Viewpoint. Barrett, G. A. , T. P. Jones, et al. (1996).
“Ethnic Minority Business: Theoretical Discourse in Britain and North America. ” Urban Studies 33: 783-809. Barrett, G. A. , T. P. Jones, et al. (2001). “Socio-economic and policy dimensions of the mixed embeddedness of ethnic minority business in Britain. ” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 27: 241-258. Bruckner, P. (2006). “Multiculturalism: Nationalism of the Minorities. ” New Perspectives Quarterly 23: 23-25. Collins, J. (2003). “Cultural diversity and entrepreneurship: policy responses to immigrant entrepreneurs in Australia. ” Entrepreneurs.
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