Foodies tells two stories about food, the first showing good food as egalitarian. Foodies frequent ‘hole in the wall’ ethnic eateries, appreciate the pie found in working-class truck-stops, and reject the snobbery of fancy French restaurants with formal table-service. The second story describes how food operates as a source of status and distinction for economic and cultural elites, indirectly maintaining and reproducing social inequality.
"Food is an increasingly important status marker, but little systematic attention has been given to the subject until now,” says Richard A. Peterson, Professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt University. “Johnston and Baumann use discourse analysis blending interviews of self-defined foodies with the "food writing" in contemporary American magazines, newspapers and books. This is a heavy topic presented with style and grace.”
While the first storyline insists that anybody can be a foodie, the second story asks foodies to look in the mirror and think about their relative social and economic privilege. By simultaneously considering both of these stories, and studying how they operate in tension, Johnston and Baumann present a delicious sociology of food.
Democracy and Distinction in the Gourmet Foodscape
Series: Cultural Spaces
This important new cultural analysis tells two stories about food. The first depicts good food as democratic. Foodies frequent ‘hole in the wall’ ethnic eateries, appreciate the pie found in working-class truck stops, and reject the snobbery of fancy French restaurants with formal table service....
Published December 1st 2009 by Routledge