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Class and food

Johs. Hjellbrekke and Vegard Jarness, in cooperation with Magne Flemmen from University of Oslo, have recently published an article in Sociology. The title is "Class, Culture and Culinary Tastes: Cultural Distinctions and Social Class Divisions in Contemporary Norway."

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Class, Culture and Culinary Tastes

Based on survey data, the analysis demonstrates a clear connection between social class and the consumption of food and drink in contemporary Norway. The upper and middle classes exhibit diverse and what are typically regarded as ‘healthy’ tastes; this contrasts with the more restricted and what are typically regarded as ‘less healthy’ tastes found among the working classes. The authors find that upper- and middle-class households also enjoy very traditional foodstuffs – Norwegian ‘husmannskost’.  It is argued that this illustrates a need for a relational understanding of taste: even the consumption of the traditional peasant food of pre-capitalist Norway can be refashioned as a badge of distinction in the 21st century.