In this paper we discuss the construction of masculinity and male domesticity in cook books written for men. By treating different types of masculinity as discourse (Gill, 2003), we are interested in understanding how cooking as social practice is recontextualized as gendered discourse. Cooking literature, cooking instructions and cook books can be regarded as coded instructions on how to preform gender identity trough cooking practices (Brownlie and Hewer, 2007). Research has shown that cooking in home kitchens has become masculinized. When adapting to their new domestic duties, men have entered the kitchens as chefs, athletes, entertainers and scientists (Swenson, 2009; Ryan Kelly, 2015). Still, men’s activities in the kitchen are limited, carefully chosen and bounded to certain activity types, and they have less responsibility for regular daily cooking than women (Inness, 2001).
This study focuses three cook books published in Sweden in 1975, 1992 and 2010. It draws on the principles of Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis (MCDA) (Machin and Mayr, 2012; Halliday and Matthiessen, 2014) and van Leeuwen’s (2008) notion of the recontextualization of social practice. More particularly we explore how masculinity and the practice of cooking in a domestic context is realized in design, texts and images in these cook books. The analysis shows that a personal voice and tone is realized through particular lexical, grammatical and visual features in the books. These features change over time and thus reflect different styles of being male; we see different forms of a “laddish” masculinity in relation to food, cooking and the domestic sphere progressing over the years.
2016. 46-47 p.
6th Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplins Conference (CADAAD 2016), University of Catania, Catania, Italy, September 5-7, 2016