Elite Authenticity: Remaking Distinction in Food Discourse

ISBN : 9780197533444

Gwynne Mapes
224 ページ
156 x 235 mm
Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics

Food plays a central role in the production of culture and is likewise a powerful resource for the representation and organization of social order. Status is asserted or contested through both the materiality of food (its substance, its raw economics, and its manufacture or preparation) and through its discursivity (its marketing, staging, and the way it is depicted and discussed). This intersection of materiality and discursivity makes food an ideal site for examining the place of language in contemporary class formations, and for engaging cutting-edge debates in sociolinguistics on language materiality. In Elite Authenticity, Gwynne Mapes integrates theories of mediatization, materiality, and authenticity in order to explore the discursive production of elite status and class inequality in food discourse. Relying on a range of methodological approaches, Mapes examines restaurant reviews and articles published in the New York Times food section; a collection of Instagram posts from @nytfood; ethnographically-informed fieldwork in four renowned Brooklyn, NY, restaurants; and a recorded dinner conversation with six food-enthusiasts. Across these varied genres of data, she demonstrates how a discourse of "elite authenticity" represents a particular surfacing of rhetorical maneuvers in which distinction is orchestrated, avowed/disavowed, and circulated. Elite Authenticity takes a multimodal critical discourse analysis approach, drawing on theories from linguistics, food and cultural studies, anthropology, sociology, and philosophy. Its presentation and analysis of aural, visual, spatial, material, and embodied discourse will be of interest to scholars and students of communication studies, critical discourse studies, sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and cultural geography.


Chapter One. Introduction: Elite Food Discourse
Elite Pancakes: A Taste of Things to Come
Social Class
The Rhetorics of Food
Materiality and Language Materiality
Terroir and Authenticity
Chapter Two. Mediatizing Taste: Elite Authenticity in New York Times Food Section Articles
Combining Elite and Authenticity
Media Discourse and Mediatization
Data and Case Study Design
The Discourse of Elite Authenticity
Disciplining Eaters
Chapter Three. Between Rough and Refined: Fetishism and Condescension in @nytfood Instagram Posts
The Juxtaposition of High and Low
Fetishism and Food Porn
Condescension and the Linguistic Marketplace
Social Media and Social Capital
Data and Case Study Design
Between Rough and Refined
Normalizing Classlessness
Chapter Four. Co-constructing the Fashionable Eater: Orders of Elitist Stancetaking in throwback Thursday Instagram Posts
What Not to Eat
Stance and Elitist Stancetaking
Data and Case Study Design
The Orders of Elitist Stancetaking
The vengeful present tense in which Fashion speaks
Chapter Five. Spatializing Authenticity: The Micro-landscapes in/of Brooklyn Restaurants
Place-making and Privileged Eating
Spatiality and Semiotic Landscapes
Data and Case Study Design
Spatializing Elite Authenticity
Producing and Occupying Elite Space
Chapter Six. Food insiders: (Dis)avowing distinction over dinner
Interactionally-achieved Elite Eating
Dinner Conversations and Communities of Practice
Data and Case Study Design
The Simultaneous (Dis)avowal of Distinction
Everyday Elite Authenticity
Chapter Seven. Conclusion: Globalizing Elite Authenticity
The Iterations of Elite Authenticity
Globalizing Elite Authenticity
So How Shall We Live?


Gwynne Mapes is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of English at the University of Bern, Switzerland. She has recent papers published in Journal of Sociolinguistics, Discourse, Context & Media, Language and Communication, and Language in Society.