Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Jennifer Patico

Second Advisor

Kathryn Kozaitis

Third Advisor

Emanuela Guano


This manuscript is an analysis of human encounters with workplace food. The analysis draws on an ethnographic field project in a Downtown Atlanta, Georgia business office to illustrate that project participants operated food to facilitate specific social processes of agency, affect, cultural movement, participation, and exclusion. Commensality at the project site was a common thread for each social process. I demonstrate that project participants’ experiences with food intersect rapid workplace changes. In presenting workplace food in the function of a cultural lens as a focus of anthropological inquiry, the analysis argues the importance of workplace as a cultural context for understanding human engagement with food. I argue that workplace is an important cultural site because of the intense time and involvement that many have with it. Implications for workplace food include commercial and organizational management uses.