University Of Tasmania
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The politics of cooking : class, inequality and power in MasterChef Australia

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posted on 2023-05-28, 09:37 authored by Moore, RL
Within the world of reality television, MasterChef Australia has been regarded by commentators as being remarkable for its non-confrontational nature and its collegiality. This study contests the benign nature of the program by examining expressions of power and authority within the television text. Drawing on a theoretical background of Marx, Weber, Barthes and Bourdieu, this thesis performs a detailed reading of Season 8 (2016) of MasterChef Australia with a view to revealing the politics and metaphorical class structures within the design of the on-screen scenario. It argues that MasterChef Australia exhibits and perpetuates traditional class structures and values within the professional cooking industry, and any non-confrontation and collegiality is associated with subservience and class inferiority. Paths are proposed for further research, especially in relation to gender-related expressions of power and authority.


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