Spatializing Authenticity: The Scaled (Micro-)landscapes in/of Brooklyn Restaurants

Mapes, Gwynne Erin (5 June 2019). Spatializing Authenticity: The Scaled (Micro-)landscapes in/of Brooklyn Restaurants (Unpublished). In: Linguistic Landscape Workshop (XIScape2019). Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. 04. - 06.06.2019.

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Building on work concerning the "scaling of taste" (Silverstein 2016) and the hierarchical ordering of people, objects, and place (e.g. T rinch and Snajdr 2017), this paper orients specifically to language materiality and political economy (Cavanaugh and Shankar 2017), and the social semiotics of luxury (Thurlow and Jaworski 2012). Against this theoretical backdrop, I am concerned with the discursive production of status and, specifically, the management of privilege in contemporary dining practices; in other words, how the "micro-landscapes" (Juffermans 2018) of elite eating contribute to, and (re)inscribe class hierarchies. To this end, my paper presents an ethnographic discourse analysis of four renowned restaurants in Brooklyn, New York, drawing on photographs of building exteriors and interiors, menus, food, marketing materials, websites, interviews with owners/chefs, and fieldwork observations. Across the aforementioned genres, modalities and venues, a series of rhetorical strategies become apparent: historicity, simplicity, pioneer spirit, lowbrow appreciation, and locality/sustainability - all of which are key to the careful management and (dis)avowal of distinction/privilege in the discursive production of elite authenticity (Mapes 2018). In short, my analysis demonstrates not only how places and landscapes are caught up in a complex movement of bodies, texts, and materials, but also how these processes of spatialization obfuscate the construction of eliteness in food discourse. As such, this paper encapsulates the change from traditional practices of conspicuous consumption (Veblen 2007[1899]) to the postclass ideologies (Thurlow 2016) and omnivorous consumption (Khan 2014) at the heart of contemporary class formations.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

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

Language:

English

Submitter:

Fabienne Blaser

Date Deposited:

20 Apr 2020 16:23

Last Modified:

03 Jul 2020 14:28

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/140460

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