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The ways of maize: food, overty, policy and the politics of meaning among the Chewa of Malawi

This study of Chewa people’s foodways traces the involvement of the Chewa people in global development politics and policy processes. With the aim of understanding how development interventionist policies affect or are affected by Chewa people’s way of life, central to this thesis is the place given to Chewa people’s interests, values and meanings over the course of these policy processes. An analysis of how new dimensions and tensions are brought about through the interaction of global and local contexts is at the core of the arguments presented here. In following the ways in which maize is used, produced, prepared, consumed and distributed among the Chewa, this thesis shows how food constitutes values, meanings and relationships that are pertinent to a specific group of people. By empirically bringing together food issues that have previously been theorised by other scholars as distinct aspects of food, this thesis seeks to broaden the theorisation of food issues within food studies.