Cook, click, share and be happy! Eudaimonic self-presentation in consumer cooking practices in contemporary technocultures

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter describes consumers’ cooking and self-presentation practices on social media as means for pursuing happiness. This chapter draws from a concept of happiness as a core dimension of individual wellbeing that relies on both hedonic and eudaimonic fulfilment. While hedonic fulfilment has been extensively investigated in consumer research, eudaimonic fulfilment has received scarce attention. Hedonic pleasure is pursued through enjoying life in a basically passive way, while eudaimonia is associated to pursuing one’s own life project, growing as an individual and integrating into a given social setting. Rooted in the digital consumer culture of the current Italian amateur cooking tradition, this chapter claims that consumers pursue happiness by engaging in self-presentation of their cooking practices in social media. These practices reveal an eudaimonic tension toward wellbeing according to which consumers spread their pictures and videos into the network of their peers in order to engage them in a collective project of emancipation and self-realization. While illustrating the empirical evidence of a recent netnographic study, this chapter will critically discuss in a simple and straightforward style how happiness in contemporary consumption is not only or primarily a psychological state. Beyond that, it has evolved into a technocultural process where eudaimonic wellbeing, digital self-presentation, production and networked sociality are subtly interwoven.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Happiness at Work
EditorsJ. Marques
Pages1-16
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • consumer culture
  • cooking
  • eudaimonia
  • happiness
  • prosumption
  • self-presentation
  • social media
  • wellbeing

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