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Deconstructing culinary culture : a critical outline of a theory on the culinarization of the self

Lunds universitet/Avdelningen för sociologi
  • Sociology
  • Social Sciences
  • Sociologi


The thesis is an outline of a theory on the "culinarization of the self", which is linked with a theoretical framework, shaping the subject in an everyday experience by power dynamics related to discourse and ideology. Practises such as eating and cooking are flavoured by an exposed Western discourse in popular media. Where a multitude of culinary cultures are presented, by a somewhat equal group of actors, being men/women and to some extent from other cultures. The aim of the study is to critically reread food talks, culinary texts visualised in popular media. Culinary texts that contain and reproduce specific power technologies, which sustain boundaries between male and female, the West and the Rest, will be deconstructed. In order to highlight the complexity of this scheme, central concepts that are presented and applied are: Gender, "Race", and Class -Habitus - Distinction. The empirical material is of use in highlight the diversity of that discourse. Where ideological, marginalizing, features take the form of images and meaning related to commodity fetishism. Concluding the culinary discourse is flavoured by multiple sets of subtexts that reinforces power divisions between subjects in society, and is used as a tool for that distinction. The thesis contains a development of central concepts such as "body-space" in relation to a different spatial belonging, and double distinction as an appropriation of knowledge of the "Other". Central concepts: Discourse, Ideology, Hegemony, West and Rest, Commodity fetishism, Gender - Space - Domination, "Race", Class - Habitus - Distinction, Food - Culinary Culture.

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