The cultural politics of foodie criticism in Hong Kong: a case study of foodies on Instagram

  • Hei Tung Wilson Wong

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This thesis investigates the cultural politics of taste in contemporary food media of Hong Kong through the lens of foodie stylistics on Instagram. By bearing on the semiotic theory and analysis by Roland Barthes, this research seeks to closely examine the mythmaking of taste in foodie criticism--the food and restaurant review written by foodies on social media platform. The theory will be used to spell out the layered meaning of foodie criticism: a linguistic depiction of food, visual stylistic of writing about taste, tactics of gaining voice of authority by foodie critics and their intention of writing. Considering taste as a cultural and social construct, the present research examines the pivotal role of foodie critics as mythmakers that render and stylize taste on Instagram, which mythologizes the intention of writing and complicates how voice of authority can be accumulated and how monopolized power of food media corporate can be further expanded invisibly. Through semiotic analysis, how taste is represented and informed by the mythmaker linguistically, how food trends are set stylistically to attract and affect the audience, as well as how attraction accumulates the voice of authority and engenders problems of self-branding, commercialization and collusion will become apparent. Finally, the findings of this pilot research of Hong Kong foodies will contribute to the understanding of cultural politics of contemporary food criticism media in the social media era.

Date of Award30 Aug 2019
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorDaisy D S TAM (Supervisor)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Food
  • Instagram (Firm)
  • Photography of food
  • Social aspects

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