Lorenzo Domaneschi

The cultural politics of food quality

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: practice theory, cultural intermediaries, sociology of food, taste, quality

This study invites not to reduce food as either an object of consumption or an industrial commodity: in order to bridge this gap, it moves away from the classical theory of commodification or from any kind of network theory, drawing on the idea of food quality as a new cultural practice. Following the practice turn in contemporary social science, especially in the case of consumption theory, the paper goes on analyzing some culinary practices of a bunch of cooks working in a North Italian urban area, drawing critically on the concept of "new cultural intermediaries", in order to explain the empirical process of social empowerment which make those subject more and more able to fix a specific definition of "quality food". Using the empirical material taken from a broader research work and focusing mainly on in-depth interviews to those mundane chefs, this study intend to present the sort of symbolic "governance" they could play in the cultural process of food qualification when, as it happens in our empirical case, it is equalize or sometimes reduce to territorial features.

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