A thirst for the authentic: craft drinks producers and the narration of authenticity
journal contributionposted 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.
- Social Sciences
- Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies