Understanding the Authentic Dining Experience : Building Authenticity through Multi-Modal Methods

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201906112598
Title: Understanding the Authentic Dining Experience : Building Authenticity through Multi-Modal Methods
Author: Nair, Vejay
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts, Department of World Cultures
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2019
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201906112598
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/302685
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: alue- ja kulttuurintutkimus
Area and Cultural Studies
Region- och kulturstudier
Abstract: This study investigates the term authenticity and how it is used when applied to restaurants. In this thesis I explore the process of determining a restaurant’s authenticity and the numerous factors involved in defining whether or not a restaurant may be deemed authentic. Along with considering whether a restaurant can develop their authenticity using none-taste related elements, as well as what are the customer’s expectations for an authentic restaurant. The study observes the various interior modes (audible, visual and textual) of a selected restaurant from a major metropolitan area in the United States, as well as interviews with members of the restaurant’s staff. In order to offer the perspective of the customer and their understanding of authenticity reviews from the restaurant’s page on a popular travel website were collected and are discussed. Using a theoretical framework rooted in the concepts of multiculturalism, orientalism and place I explore the relationship of “us and them”, a common narrative in gastronomic discourse, and then discuss the concepts of ethnic food and authenticity. The selected restaurant weaves together different modes, identified in three separate modal categories, to create the overall visual look and feel of their restaurant. Often these modes result in the restaurant self-orientalizing or displaying general otherness in order to create a transportative experience for their diners. This study identifies that authenticity as a concept is multifaceted and its meaning is determined by both who is using the term and for what purpose they are identifying a restaurant as authentic.
Subject: Authenticity
Ethnic Food
Orientalism
Multimodal Discourse Analysis
Authentic Food


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