Culinary Taste Is a Social Construct, Not an Expression Individually

2611 words 11 pages
In this essay we will analyze and comment on how an individual develops his culinary taste through the various impacts from our social construct and that it is not just a matter of personal choice. While discussing the evolving taste of an individual, we are going to interpret the seminal works of the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu and relate to the social construction of taste. Alternative explanations to Bourdieu, like the post-modernist view will also be explained and the various impacts of the contemporary influences from our society like standardization, fashion, media, culinary tourism which affects our culinary taste will also be explicated.
Pierre Bourdieu's work emphasized how social classes, especially the ruling and
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According to Bauman individuals can freely choose their tastes and preferences which are driven by their consumer behaviour and that they don’t have belong to a certain social sect and can create their own lifestyles on the basis of their own lifestyle and customs. Bauman suggests that in the postmodernist society, the individuals are not born with a set of behaviors and choices, rather they have a choice to adopt the set of consumer behavior and practices which is most particular to them. Sloan (2004). One can say that individuals include themselves into society by their own efforts. A sense of concern is created within one for one’s own freedom to taste, which is not in the case of Bourdieu’s theory. Cited in Sloan (2004), Bauman (1988) says most people are less restricted in the field of consumption than in any other part of their lives. Warde(1997), suggests that the sociology of consumption is more about creating identity through consumption, with consumer behavior being driven by the process of ‘individualization’ and ‘stylization’, both processes of Postmodernist view.

Individualism disregards the social structure and enhances an individual’s freedom of taste. “As the society is changing the people develop their own biographies without the influence of traditional class framework.” Beck (1992). This unique approach of leading a lifestyle which is governed by the individual themselves rather than


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