Tripe Soup at the Service Area: Thoughts about an Infrastructure of Meaningful Sociality

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In this paper, I draw on ethnographic fieldwork (participant observation) carried out at a Bulgarian service area to argue that such spaces create a 'meaningful sociality' building on imagination and sensual experience, as well as on experiences of intersectional oppression or dominance. I draw on the history and adaptations of shkembeto (tripe soup) and my observations of its preparation and serving at one such service area. This soup, which is famous in Turkey and Bulgaria, offers some people disorienting sensory experiences that are associated with complex power relations, which makes the service area a site for reflection on discrimination and gender roles. The paper closes with reflections on the sociality of such places, which is ephemeral but meaningful both there and at home.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-166
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Ethnology and Folkloristics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2024

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 504009 Ethnology


  • Sociality
  • infrastructure
  • service area
  • tripe soup
  • ethnography
  • meaningful sociality

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