Further evidence for the creepy injustice of being yoked up to the cheap moralistic pomo project in today’s commercialized academia
Background: I have had to review for journals way too many would-be articles asserting theoretically (without the benefit of much connection to the research literature on the topic) that people get involved in food movements in order to create class distinction.
My colleagues have begun to analyze their data from an experiment where they tested the pomo Bowderlized Bourdieuian/Latte Liberals hypothesis that the food movement is all about middle class people distinguishing themselves, via their superior consumption capacity, from other working class people.
My colleagues conducted an experiment over the past several months to test whether different kinds of people buy fairtrade coffee or mainstream coffee when they know others can see their purchasing decisions v. when they purchase in private. Do people make their food decisions based on their desire to demonstrate cultural distinction?
The results? It’s not looking good for the Bourdieu Bowdlerizers. H1 disproved. That is, it makes no difference (to their consumption practices) whether consumers think others are watching their consumption decisions or not. (In other words, most everyday people who consume fair trade are nowhere near as narcissistic as, say, academics. Shocking.) People’s fair trade consumption decisions are not about lording it over each other with class differance display.
What does matter? Gender. Women will buy fair trade rather than pocket a little extra cash. Also, political beliefs. Conservatives and leftists do not buy fair trade. Liberals do. (Greater belief in the potential class-neutrality of the market? Less need to penny-pinch, when compared to Leftists?)
I have a suggestion for the pomoistas. Give it a break with the setting up of lame distinction hypotheses revolving around atavistic, unjustifiably-reified mid-20th century culturally-determined definitions of class. Crack open a newspaper. Do you notice anything happening to class in the West? Yeah. That’s right. Bifurcation. It’s been going on for over 30 years now, and it was going on the whole time prior to 1940. There’s a differance going on right now, alright. Learn about it and in good faith peruse the theory that can shed some light on it. Also, research the literature before you submit your article.