Reconsidering food and friendship – collecting Michelin Stars

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Friendship has become a dominant form of social relationship within postmodern society as traditional structures have been argued to diminish. Food’s role in maintaining friendship has also discussed in a range of studies which reflect upon cooking and eating as means of doing friendship. Other forms of relationships have however increasingly dominated theory development particularly those within the neo-tribal literature. This considers that groups, real or virtual, are increasing formed around particular products, brands or activities of consumption (such as food) and it is these which provide the” linking value”, which unites the members. Within this field number of related group forms are discussed: neo-tribes, brand communities and sub-cultures. The paper explores the position of traditional friendship within a neo-tribal discourse. It is based upon of depth discussions with a friendship group who share a passion for fine dining, and who actively seek extraordinary consumption experiences within ‘Michelin’ starred and other suitably rated restaurants as part of their friendships. It finds that there are many bases for traditional friendship and that a shared interest or passion is well established in consumers’ minds as one of these connections. While respondents rejected affiliation with established neo-tribes such as ‘foodies’ they were engaged in consumption activity such as pilgrimage which has been identified as important within that literature. It argues therefore that traditional friendship should be reconsidered in the light of this neo-tribal literature and its nature and position examined.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 3 Jul 2012
EventBritish Sociological Association Food and Society Conference - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Jul 20124 Jul 2012

Conference

ConferenceBritish Sociological Association Food and Society Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period2/07/124/07/12

Keywords

  • food
  • society
  • food culture
  • Michelin Stars
  • neo-tribes

Projects

Food as a a part of health and wellbeing

Tonner, A.

1/10/06 → …

Project: Internally funded project

Cite this

Tonner, A. (2012). Reconsidering food and friendship – collecting Michelin Stars. Paper presented at British Sociological Association Food and Society Conference, London, United Kingdom.