Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Cronin, J., McCarthy, M., and Collins, A.
Consumption, Markets and Culture
Covert Distinction: how hipsters practice food-based resistance strategies in the production of identity
Optional Fields
consumer resistance, community, food consumption, identity, hipster, consumer choice
This paper reveals the processes by which food is used to express resistance to the mainstream and perform identity work within the hipster community of consumption. Based on the findings of a qualitative investigation, several resistance strategies involving food emerged: Vegetarian choices; Brand choices and avoidances; and Decommodification practices. We discuss how these strategies are framed by hipsters' discursive distaste for the commercial food marketing system but are, in practice, operationalised as subtle ways to achieve proper representation of their collective identity within the marketplace. Mundane consumption emerges as motor-force in allowing these consumers to surreptitiously maintain distinction and to protect their within-group identity from mainstream co-optation. We conclude by suggesting that the inconspicuous nature of mundane consumables such as food and alcohol products allows for idiosyncratic shared community performances that are covert and difficult for broader social currents to detect and co-opt.
Grant Details