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Title: Grab your fork : a netnographic study of a foodie blog and its community
Author: Watson, Pamela Janet
Awarding Body: Bournemouth University
Current Institution: Bournemouth University
Date of Award: 2013
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Colloquially known as foodies (Barr & Levy, 1984), there is a group of people who have a deep interest in food and eating. Such people are often skilled amateurs (Stebbins, 1992), with a high level of knowledge about food and ingredients. Foodies collect food experiences, and visits to celebrated restaurants, much as tourists collect souvenirs (Morgan et al. 2008). Many foodies are well-off people from the middle classes who are also internet users. For them, online consumer reviews have become an important information resource, in particular food blogs which provide amateur restaurant reviews (Zhu & Zhang, 2010; Pantalidis, 2010). Those who do read food blogs prefer their reviews to those of supposedly “professional” reviewers who work for traditional publications, as bloggers are seen as more independent. Such amateur reviews aid in spreading word of mouth attitudes within a community of consumption. The members of these groups furthermore share their knowledge with each other via the medium of the blog. This thesis is based on two major areas of theory, and applies them to the concepts of foodism and food blogging for the first time. Firstly the thesis critically examines the key themes of foodism and food blogging as a form of Serious Leisure. Helen Yee is a foodie whose intense interest in food and eating is so strong that she writes a blog, called Grab Your Fork, with almost daily posts on the food which she has eaten. This “citizen journalism” (Bruns, 2007) takes her blogging into the Serious Leisure arena. Secondly, Tajfel and Turner’s (1979) theory on Social Identity Theory has not previously been applied to either foodie communities or blogging communities. In the case of Grab Your Fork the network of individuals who have developed an on-line community are also foodies, so the example was able to be applied to both situations, and was shown to be an appropriate model to explain such a community. The attachment of emotional involvement to the group and their values and ethos structure as presented within this theory links to the concept of Serious Leisure in that in Social identity Theory, it is the self-confirmation as being an in-group member or out-group member that defines a person’s definition of themselves (Shamir, 1992).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available