Domestic Divo? Televised treatments of masculinity, femininity and food

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Abstract

The 'cooking mystique' has long regulated the presentation of masculinity and femininity within kitchen culture. However, recent sociological research reveals shifts in how household tasks are allocated within the homeespecially in the kitchen. if so, are masculinities and femininities presented in popular discourse around cooking also changing? This article highlights historical transformations in how the 'instructional' genre presents the connection between 'doing gender' and 'doing dinner.' Analysis shows that production, social, and ideological conventions used by the popular Food Network still present cooking as gendered work. However, Food Network starsfrom Bobby Flay to Rachel Rayare shifting the cooking mystique in ways that both challenge and uphold a binary between genders. I argue that the Food Network is a strategic site to examine how gender is used to bridge tension between the 'high' and 'low' cultures of culinary arts, domestic labor, television, and consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-53
Number of pages18
JournalCritical Studies in Media Communication
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009

Keywords

  • Domestic
  • Femininity
  • Food
  • Masculinity
  • Televised

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