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Masculinity and the sociality of cooking in men’s everyday lives
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics.
Department of Child and Youth Studies, Stockholm University.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics.
2016 (English)In: Sociological Review, ISSN 0038-0261, E-ISSN 1467-954XArticle in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This article explores how 31 Swedish men (22–88 years old) talk about the sociality of domestic cooking in everyday life. We demonstrate how domestic cooking – for oneself, for others and with others – is part of the understanding of contemporary Swedish men and how the expressed sociality of cooking is intertwined with accomplishments of masculinity. The sociality of cooking is not only about homosocial leisure but also a way for men to maintain heterosocial relationships and assume domestic responsibility. We discuss a potential cultural transition in men's domestic meal sociality and suggest the need for studies of gendered divisions of domestic work and the sociology of food to analyse how cooking shares similar properties to those of commensality, and the implications of this regarding gender relations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2016.
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology) Gender Studies Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Food, Nutrition and Dietetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-301493DOI: 10.1111/1467-954X.12420OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-301493DiVA: diva2:954679
Available from: 2016-08-23 Created: 2016-08-23 Last updated: 2017-06-14
In thesis
1. Stories of masculinity, gender equality, and culinary progress: On foodwork, cooking, and men in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stories of masculinity, gender equality, and culinary progress: On foodwork, cooking, and men in Sweden
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The general aim of this thesis is to use foodwork and cooking in Sweden as a way to better understand theoretical questions about men and masculinities. Paper I discusses how an increased public interest in elaborate cooking and gastronomy in Sweden, a country with a cultural idealization of gender equality, could explain why men in Sweden assume responsibilities for domestic cooking without feeling emasculated. Papers II, III and IV draw on interviews with 31 men from 22 to 88 years of age and with different levels of interest in food. Paper II shows how domestic foodwork and cooking are associated with ideas of Swedish progress in terms of gender equality and culinary skills. Paper III demonstrates further that domestic cooking is not only a responsibility which men assume, but also a way of being sociable with friends, partners and children. Thus, both papers II and III challenge the idea that men only cook at home if they enjoy it. The data rather indicate that domestic foodwork responsibilities are a cultural expectation of men in Sweden, ingrained in desirable masculine practices. Paper IV explores men’s responses to media representations of food. The interviewed men responded to these representations with indifference, pragmatism, irony, and at times even hostility. In general, the responses are based on gender and age-differentiated taste distinctions and notions of masculine and culinary excess. Paper V uses a mix of texts (81 online texts and two magazines) and observations from the food fairs GastroNord (2014 and 2016), Mitt kök-mässan (2014) and the chef competition Bocuse d’Or Europe (2014) complemented with pictures and videos. I argue that a Swedish culinary community that promotes Swedish culinary excellence is constructed by drawing on preestablished national (self-)images. This culinary community is constructed as open and tolerant, with ethical concerns for the environment and for nonhuman animals. Its culinary icons are represented by chefs in whites and the leading restaurants. In sum, this dissertation provides empirical and theoretical contributions to both food studies and gender studies that critically scrutinize men and masculinities. Food-issues are permeated by gender, both in people’s everyday life and in the gastronomic elite.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2016. 106 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 132
Keyword
foodwork, cooking, food studies, men and masculinities, gender equality, domestic work, culinary excellence, food, gastronomy, celebrity chefs, national identity, androcentrism, homosociality
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Gender Studies Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Food, Nutrition and Dietetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-301494 (URN)978-91-554-9701-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-11-11, A1: 107a, Uppsala Biomedical Centre (BMC), Husargatan 3, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-10-20 Created: 2016-08-23 Last updated: 2016-11-02

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Publisher's full texthttp://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1467-954X.12420

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