The Grill and the Rolling Pin. The Socio-Materiality of Gender in Cooking Practices


  • Lorenzo Domaneschi Università degli Studi di Milano



I discuss the potential for gender studies of an approach that aims to investigate the socio-material dimension of culinary practices. I draw on an ethnographic analysis of a particular case of foodplay, like the public and extra-domestic practice of barbecue, supported by a discursive analysis of a group of texts that frames the role of objects in this practice. Without aiming to reverse the perspective that sees the male culinary practices as leisure-oriented and the female ones as caring-oriented, I try to show how this type of separation is inscribed into the design of its material tools and physical environments. Furthermore, I try to illustrate how the two spheres of leisure and caring, which are often considered as pre-existing entities to the practice, when investigated through to the socio-material approach could be considered as normative outcomes produced through practice and, as such, they can be challenged.

Keywords: cooking practices, doing gender, practice-based approach, ethnography, barbecue.

Author Biography

Lorenzo Domaneschi, Università degli Studi di Milano

Assisant professor

Department of Sociology and Social Research