SOC317H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Omnivore, Foodie, Mcdonaldization

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11 Feb 2016
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Slide: The case study: a tool for digging deeper
Why the case study
Help illuminate aspects of a broader phenomenon or problem
help advance our understanding of phenomenon
social and cultural phenomenon
methodological tool
Key element of analyzing broader consumer culture in this course
Breadth vs depth
Using the particular to draw broader conclusions:
• assignments
good slide for assignments
you don’t want to stay at a particular
make those relationships to broader relationships
Slide: Image
Hamburger -> sociology -> consumers
how this triad is interacting
the hamburger isn’t just a type of food, it has cultural, sociological, economic
implications
Slide: Serving up different hamburgers
this week in the reading we have an array of burgers presented to us
1. hamburger as a expensive (batman article)
2. gourmet status symbol
3. hamburger as a symbol of the american way of life (fantasia article)
slide: The Hamburger: A brief (and recent) history
first hamburger joints were roadside
teenager’s type of food
fairly cheap (5 cents to 15 cents)
initially a lot of these places marketed that they were so cheap that you could
buy a bag full of burgers
a lot of these places incorporate this new idea of the drive thru
you would have waitresses come to your car
from being sold in this simple form, the hamburger has moved to being a
global commodity
also has altered through that, as we see in the Fantasia article
e.g McDonalds has a different burger depending where it us
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Slide: The Upscale Gourmet Burger
has appeared everywhere
so many joints
the burgers have been fancified
taken very seriously by foodies
this has lead to a diff kind of consuming
its still fast food but it has a few diff elements to it
aim to redeem fast food
the food remains still recognizably fast food but there are teaks here and there
that make the experience more gourmet
Slide: What we learn from gourmet burgers…
there’s been this move from the fordist burger (standardized burger)
this trend reflects a lot of things
one of the things is rising inequality
might have been a food that anybody could have eaten and there wasn’t much
differentiation
These trends reflect:
Rising inequality and classed habits
rise of foodie culture
food as conspicuous consumption/ distinction / status
politicization of foods, critique of industrial foods
got this in the Caldwell article but mostly in the Bittman article
Expenditure cascade
emulating the top earners
so when burgers start to become so high end, or any good, there
are other versions of this
reference shifts upwards
people will be initially shocked, but then overtime, gradually
becomes acceptable and people want to try it becomes it
becomes fashionable and trendy and the adapt that
behaviour- that’s the cycle
Slide: Omnivores (sociology)
Gourmet burger article speaks of this
idea here is that:
High-status consumption that combines high-status and low-status
tastes
when we’re thinking about the old style
high status taste might be owning a silk suit, going to the opera, as
opposed to listening to country for example
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