Foodies: How status is manifested in the kitchen
Abstract: Purpose: This research explores how status is manifested within the foodie culture. More specifically, we explored how foodies claim status and express inconspicuous meanings through their food consumption practices. Methodology: A hermeneutical epistemology approach was pursued, with the use of Interpretivism to generate insights into the foodie lived experience. A constructionist ontological perspective was pursued to consider foodie’s social constructs and their consumption practices. Qualitative strategies were adopted, with the use of ethnographic methods, namely photo diaries and interviews. Theoretical perspective: With a Consumer Culture Theory perspective, the central constructs explored were from a Bourdieuian (1984) perspective on Status, Veblen’s (1899) Conspicuous Consumption, Food Consumption and their relations to the Foodie Culture. Empirical Foundation: The sample used in this study consisted of foodies’ that were current residents of Sweden. The data collected was then analyzed using existential-phenomenological interpretation from a hermeneutic perspective. Conclusion: The findings show that status is manifested essentially, through food knowledge. Expressed through an understanding of food functionality, cooking skills, current food trends and awareness of food marketing tactics, status is revealed. The foodies claim their status by teaching others, while dumbing down their refined food consumption practices.
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