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The Mediterranean IncarnateRegion Formation between Sicily and Tunisia since World War II$
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Naor Ben-Yehoyada

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226450971

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226451169.001.0001

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One Big Family

One Big Family

(p.123) Five One Big Family
The Mediterranean Incarnate

Naor Ben-Yehoyada

University of Chicago Press

An analysis of the role that idioms of family and kinship played as scaling devices in the struggle over the framing of social relations onboard and in Mazara’s transnational trajectory. Onboard, I analyze how the preparation and consumption of food – the only daily times when the crew met for a purpose other than sorting the catch – were charged with the tensions between the alternative frames for onboard life and work: labor, patronage, or family. I show how the relative complexity and potential commensality of the daily lunch and dinner amplified and refracted the semiotic potential of food as a consumable emblem of familial relations. Ashore, the chapter analyses how these idioms of relatedness served Mazarese and North African politicians in framing transnational relations across the sea. Onboard the Naumachos, food turned into the emblem of onboard life and a pawn in that life’s contested framing. Ashore, the trawlers and their fishers’ rage became moveable emblems of the Channel and relations across it. I show how Mazara’s fleet played a role in the rise of such Mediterraneanist allusions, through two intertwined threads: the Fish War with Tunisia and the construction of the Transmed pipeline across the Channel of Sicily.

Keywords:   family, kinship, food, commensality, infrastructure, reciprocity

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