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Conceptualizing taste: Food, culture and celebrities

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mairi Maclean


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Tourism is a potent realm for theorizing broader issues of culture and taste. Exploring dining and culinary pursuits can shed light on the production and reproduction of gastronomic culture and broader struggles for authenticity. We explore the ‘liquid times’ of late modernity, and how the competing processes of popularization and legitimization contribute to the ongoing reconfiguration of tourism's field of taste within a context of culinary celebrification. Applying Bourdieu's theory of distinction to culinary elites, we develop a model that captures transitions in habitus. This model can be applied to any cultural context within the tourism industry to illustrate the impact of competing processes of taste. Implications of this model are that the celebrification of products and services can potentially narrow the field of production and undermine the cultural contribution tourism can make to society at large.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stringfellow L, MacLaren A, Maclean M, O'Gorman K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Tourism Management

Year: 2013

Volume: 37

Pages: 77-85

Print publication date: 01/08/2013

Online publication date: 24/02/2013

Acceptance date: 31/12/2012

ISSN (print): 0261-5177

ISSN (electronic): 1879-3193

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.tourman.2012.12.016


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