“When I'm Doing a Dinner Party I Don't Go for the Tesco Cheeses”
Gendered Class Distinctions, Friendship and Home Entertaining
Authors: Mellor, Jody; Blake, Megan; Crane, Lucy
Source: Food, Culture and Society: An International Journal of MultidisciplinaryResearch, 1 March 2010, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 115-134(20)
Abstract:The purpose of this article is to explore how friendships are “done” through processes of eating together formally within the British context, paying attention to how taste is displayed through food. Existing research on food consumption and social differentiation has in the main concentrated on eating out, but there is little research on entertaining inside the home. Based on qualitative interviews with middle class couples at different stages of life in the north of England, we use one example of home entertaining—the dinner party—to analyze how middle class social networks are maintained and extended. For these families, friendship is performed through shared class boundary making, drawing of distinctions and social closure. Using a Bourdieusian theoretical framework, we indicate how home entertaining facilitates the conversion of social networks into cultural capital to maintain class privilege.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2010