Making the Self in a Material World: Food and Moralities of Consumption

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Isabelle de Solier


Food is increasingly central to consumer culture today. From fine dining restaurants to farmers’ markets, stainless steel kitchenware to celebrity chef cookbooks, there is a stylish array of culinary commodities available for fashioning our identities. Yet this occurs at a time when commodity consumption more generally is under greater question as a site of self-making, with the rise of anti-consumerist sentiment. This article examines how people negotiate these issues in their identity formation, by focusing on those for whom food is central to their sense of self: ‘foodies’. I draw on theories of consumption, identity and material culture, in particular the work of Daniel Miller, to examine ethnographic research undertaken with foodies in Melbourne, Australia.

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Food Cultures (Peer Reviewed)