Marketing elite authenticity: Tradition and terroir in artisanal food discourse

Mapes, Gwynne (2020). Marketing elite authenticity: Tradition and terroir in artisanal food discourse. Discourse, context & media, 34, p. 100328. Elsevier 10.1016/j.dcm.2019.100328

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Scholars have shown that ‘slow’ foods such as organic or artisan products are marketed primarily at the middle-class, allowing consumers to supposedly resist anonymous corporate culture and mass production, while at the same time performing cultural capital and “good taste” (cf. Bourdieu, 1984; Shugart, 2014). As a case in point, my paper examines a multimodal dataset of food texts (e.g. online resources, shop displays, and interviews) drawn from an artisanal cured meats producer in Switzerland who explicitly self-styles as the height of modern, cosmopolitan food practices and trends. This so-called ‘progressive’ discourse hinges on the iconization, romanticization and exploitation of agrarian life and peripheral vernaculars, in ways that strategically both claim and deny elitist distinction. I argue that this case study of Swiss artisanal food marketing therefore represents what I call “elite authenticity” (Mapes, 2018); as such, particular ways of eating (and particular eaters) are hailed as simultaneously fashionable and socially/politically virtuous (cf. Kenway and Lazarus, 2017), while covertly reinscribing privileged standards of good taste and class inequality.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures > Modern English Linguistics

UniBE Contributor:

Mapes, Gwynne Erin

Subjects:

400 Language
400 Language > 410 Linguistics
400 Language > 420 English & Old English languages

ISSN:

2211-6958

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Fabienne Blaser

Date Deposited:

28 Apr 2020 08:35

Last Modified:

03 Jul 2020 14:28

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.dcm.2019.100328

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.140458

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/140458

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