A CROSS-LINGUISTIC AND CROSS-CULTURAL ANALYSIS OF TASTE, FOOD, COOKING, AND INTERACTION IN A CORPUS OF TELEVISION COOKING SHOWS FROM ROMANIA AND THE U.S.
- Pajtek, Alina C.
- Graduate Program:
- Applied Linguistics
- Doctor of Philosophy
- Document Type:
- Date of Defense:
- September 26, 2011
- Committee Members:
- Meredith Christine Doran, Dissertation Advisor/Co-Advisor
Meredith Christine Doran, Committee Chair/Co-Chair
Robert William Schrauf, Committee Chair/Co-Chair
Celeste S Kinginger, Committee Member
Steve L Thorne, Committee Member
Matthew Frank Jordan, Committee Member
- linguistic anthropology
Romanian television cooking shows
U.S. television cooking shows
- This dissertation examines how language and culture are performed in a corpus of selected television cooking show discourse from Romania and the US. More specifically, this study offers a micro- and macro-level linguistic analysis of two television cooking shows from the US, 30 Minute Meals and The Essence of Emeril, and two from Romania, The Recipe from Home and I Eat Therefore I Am; both the US and the Romanian television corpus include one male and one female host. The US shows are among the most popular cooking programs on contemporary television, while the Romanian shows constitute the first food programs ever produced in Romanian. The present study is the first linguistic anthropological study that investigates how culture and stance-taking, or socio-culturally determined attitudes, are constituted in television cooking show discourse. Drawing on scholarly work from anthropology (e.g., Mannheim and Tedlock, 1995), sociology (Bourdieu, 1997; 1990; 1991), and linguistic anthropology (Ochs & Schieffelin, 1989; Besnier, 1990; Kärkkäinen, 2006; Du Bois, 2007), I argue that culture and stance are intrinsically connected, and that a nuanced understanding of US and Romanian cultural frames expressed in cooking show discourse requires an analysis of stance-taking linguistic features. In this dissertation, I focus on two types of discursive stance-taking, affective stance (Ochs, 1996) and interactional stance (Kärkkäinen, 2006; Du Bois, 2007), and on how they both reflect and construct cultural patterns in television cooking show discourse. More specifically, using Ochs’ (1996) and Silverstein’s (2003) indexicality principle, I analyze affective stances towards taste and their indexical meanings in television cooking show discourse to understand cross-linguistic and cross-cultural differences and similarities, as well as gender-specific characteristics of affective stance towards taste in this media genre. I also appeal to Goffman’s constructs of the presentation of self (Goffman, 1959), frame analysis (Goffman, 1974), and footing (Goffman, 1981), to examine stance and interaction in television cooking show discourse from the two countries, and how such interactions point to the construction of several host roles. Lastly, I use Silverstein’s indexical order (2003) concept to understand how particular instantiations of stance, taste, affect, and interaction in the selected corpus have meaning within the broader Romanian and US cultural context. As the first discourse-analytic study on Romanian media, and the only discourse- analytic study of television cooking show discourse in the US, this analysis contributes to a more nuanced understanding of how everyday discursive patterns (in this case, via the medium of television) relate to cultural patterns in general, and those in Romanian and US cultures in particular. For instance, this study provides evidence not only of differences with regard to affect and interaction between US and Romanian cultures—consistent with traditional “contrastive” or dichotomous views of the differences between Western and Eastern cultures--but also illustrates discursive similarities between the two sets of cultural artifacts, that call for re-examination and questioning of such dichotomous schemata. Furthermore, this dissertation study illustrates the creation of cultural personae of television cooking show hosts through micro- and macro-level linguistic features, and shows how their popularity is at least partly a feature of their stance-taking process towards taste, affect, and interaction.