Consuming kitchens: Taste, context and identity formation

Dale Southerton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


The role that consumption might play in processes of identity formation has been subject to much recent sociological debate. This article explores four principles of kitchen consumption orientations that were described by three groups (differentiated by levels of economic and cultural resources) who live in an English new town. The varying meanings applied to kitchen usage are also explored. It is argued that the similarity of kitchen tastes and the meanings applied to its usage within the three groups cast doubt over theories that suggest consumption and identity formation are increasingly free from normative group constraints. In conclusion it is argued that association within locality-based 'taste communities' acted to confirm shared tastes which respondents mapped onto generic social categorizations of class, a confirmation made possible through varying degrees of sociability within local contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-203
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Consumer Culture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2001


  • Class
  • Kitchens
  • Place
  • Practices
  • Style


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