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Publication - Professor Dale Southerton

    Consuming kitchens

    Taste, context and identity formation


    Southerton, D, 2001, ‘Consuming kitchens: Taste, context and identity formation’. Journal of Consumer Culture, vol 1., pp. 179-203


    The role that consumption might play in processes of identity formation has been subject to much recent sociological debate. This article explores four principles of kitchen consumption orientations that were described by three groups (differentiated by levels of economic and cultural resources) who live in an English new town. The varying meanings applied to kitchen usage are also explored. It is argued that the similarity of kitchen tastes and the meanings applied to its usage within the three groups cast doubt over theories that suggest consumption and identity formation are increasingly free from normative group constraints. In conclusion it is argued that association within locality-based 'taste communities' acted to confirm shared tastes which respondents mapped onto generic social categorizations of class, a confirmation made possible through varying degrees of sociability within local contexts.

    Full details in the University publications repository