Conceptualizing taste: Food, culture and celebrities

Lindsay Stringfellow, Andrew MacLaren, Mairi Maclean, Kevin O'Gorman

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Tourism is a potent realm for theorizing broader issues of culture and taste. Exploring dining and culinary pursuits can shed light on the production and reproduction of gastronomic culture and broader struggles for authenticity. We explore the 'liquid times' of late modernity, and how the competing processes of popularization and legitimization contribute to the ongoing reconfiguration of tourism's field of taste within a context of culinary celebrification. Applying Bourdieu's theory of distinction to culinary elites, we develop a model that captures transitions in habitus. This model can be applied to any cultural context within the tourism industry to illustrate the impact of competing processes of taste. Implications of this model are that the celebrification of products and services can potentially narrow the field of production and undermine the cultural contribution tourism can make to society at large.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-85
Number of pages9
JournalTourism Management
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • Bourdieu
  • Culinary taste
  • Elite chefs
  • Habitus
  • Legitimization
  • Taste formation


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