Food, mass media and lifestyles. A hyperreal correlation

Debora Viviani


The aim of this essay is to analyse the representation of food in leading television programmes.It takes shape from the premise that since food is an element of material culture and therefore a vehicle of postmodern culture, it both symbolizes and is the result of a process of transformation that follows the guidelines of the concept of simulacrum.The study uses the characteristic aspects of the concept of simulacrum, to compare two different food-based television genres: traditional cookery programmes and cooking shows. These were chosen because they are the most representative broadcasts and have high viewing figures.The results highlighted that food is a simulacrum in the most recent kind of cooking programms.In general, food clearly enjoys strong autonomy with regard to context.As food and cooking are impersonal decontextualized components, the way that they are reproduced is mediated and unnatural, carefully planned as part of games and strategies typically used in the media world. 


food; media; simulacrum

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ISSN 2239-8589 | Managing Editor: Debora Viviani | Editor in Chief: Paola Di Nicola