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A thirst for the authentic: craft drinks producers and the narration of authenticity

journal contribution
posted on 28.01.2019, 11:55 by Thomas Thurnell-Read
There is a long academic tradition which positions the desire for authenticity as emerging as a symptom of dissatisfactions with modernity. Most recently, this has involved consumption of products that are valued for being authentic in contrast to mass produced commodities which are seen as being homogeneous, standardized and therefore inauthentic. A recent resurgence in interest in the idea of craft and craftwork has brought to the fore concerns about re‐establishing connections between products, consumers and producers beyond rational market exchange. This research draws on interviews with 40 craft brewery and distillery workers to explore the ways in which authenticity is narrated as part of an ongoing effort to add value to their products and the contexts of their production. The article identifies six modes of authenticity which are drawn on in combination by participants to establish a narrative of authenticity. This is understood to be a clear illustration of the ‘enrichment process’ by which post‐industrial economies manufacture value. A central element of craft drink producers’ work is the marshalling of cultural value and engaging in communicative and performative acts that ascribe that value to products and the people involved in making them.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

The British Journal of Sociology

Volume

70

Issue

4

Pages

1448 - 1468

Citation

THURNELL-READ, T.P., 2019. A thirst for the authentic: craft drinks producers and the narration of authenticity. The British Journal of Sociology, 70 (4), pp.1448-1468.

Publisher

John Wiley & Sons Ltd © London School of Economics and Political Science

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: THURNELL-READ, T.P., 2019. A thirst for the authentic: craft drinks producers and the narration of authenticity. The British Journal of Sociology, 70 (4), pp.1448-1468, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-4446.12634. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

Acceptance date

04/12/2018

Publication date

2019-01-17

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

0007-1315

eISSN

1468-4446

Language

en

Exports