A new look at cooking: it’s not about eating! Prepare and exhibit food as identity representation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Food preparation is moving from a functional activity (usually considered as a job or a profession) to a new way to represent individuals’ abilities, creativity, and even status. With varying degrees of specialization and skills, today consumers show a growing commitment toward food preparation as a means to represent themselves. We see contemporary food preparation and related multiple practices at the crossroad of three different dimensions that overlap and integrate: production, consumption, and identity representation. Scholars from various fields acknowledged consumers for creating, distributing, and communicating value. While value creation, even in the material production domain (as cooking), is usually considered functional and instrumental to actual consumption (as eating), we will demonstrate that it can be directly a source of value to be represented and distributed. The paper is based on a multisite ethnography conducted in the period April 2014 – December 2015 in Italy. We employed online and offline methods as well as archival data from five different settings: social networks, blogs, videos, events, TV programs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationN/A
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventConsumer Culture Theory Conference (CCTC) - Lille, FR
Duration: 6 Jul 20169 Jul 2016


ConferenceConsumer Culture Theory Conference (CCTC)
CityLille, FR


  • consumer
  • cooking
  • productive consumption
  • self-representation


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