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The Luminosity of the Local

EPIC2012 Proceedings

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Conference Website This paper seeks to capture the local in Locavore — both its concrete and symbolic character. Locavore is a kind of nascent identity that emerges from constellations of social relationships, self-defining “food communities”, made up of consumers and farmers and chefs, and food writers and environmentalists of various stripes. These communities live in the blogosphere, tweets and other media as well as through face-to-face relationships and transactions. At their core are representations of the local — in foods, dishes, recipes, meals, places, and persons. Place-bound identities in some theoretically interesting ways transcend place. Drawing on classical anthropological theory and recent studies in cultural geography, we explore ways in which the local is invented and given representational power in the creation of face-to-face and digital communities. We address the implications for branding, marketing and for understanding the continued power of place-bound identities in the very constitution of digitized and globalized worlds.

Tags: Branding, Food Culture, Locavore, Place Branding, Slow Food, Social Identity