City Research Online

A reconceptualization of gastronomy as relational and reflexive

Kesimoğlu, A. (2015). A reconceptualization of gastronomy as relational and reflexive. Hospitality & Society, 5(1), pp. 71-91. doi: 10.1386/hosp.5.1.71_1


This article focuses on the increasing fashionableness of gastronomic forms: their ‘symbolic enhancement’, and the ensuing incorporation of their forms into tourism, policy, destination management and marketing. The symbolic (although also material) enhancement of gastronomy may also lead to its objectification rather than acknowledging that gastronomy is an abstraction, and something that is negotiated constantly amongst the members of a society. Unfortunately, the inadvertent consequence of some studies focusing on the promotion and management of gastronomy, with respect to tourism and destination management, has been the formalization of such a normative approach with a tendency to link gastronomy with the wider debates on heritage. This article proposes a different way of looking at gastronomy: one in which gastronomy is relational, reflexive and negotiable – not fixed. This is a multi-disciplinary approach that draws on sociological and cultural studies of ­tourism, gastronomy, identity, reflexivity and consumption.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: culture, destination management, gastronomy, gastronomic tourism, heritage tourism, identity, reflexivity
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Departments: City, University of London (-2022) > School of Arts & Social Sciences
School of Arts & Social Sciences
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