Final Project Proposal
One of my hobbies is cooking. It relaxes me at the end of the day and also gives me a sense of accomplishment — hey, I created something that others can enjoy! I get many of my recipes from cooking blogs, many of which I discovered through Pinterest. However, cooking blogs are a completely different world than most food related things I am accustomed to (Food Network, celebrity chefs, foodies, Travel/Cooking Channels, respectively). Cooking blogs have changed the way people interact with each other. For example, in many posts, the blogger will, when prefacing a recipe, write that she/he found the recipe on their “good friend” Suzie Cooks!’s blog. Now, this person knows “Suzie” from Suzie Cooks! as Suzie Cooks!. They’ve never actually met the person but already consider them a friend. Another strange difference cooking blogs have from other types of social networking, is their virtual dinner parties. For these parties, food bloggers are invited to post recipes and beautiful pictures of the food created by these recipes at the same time on the same date so all may enjoy the “virtual” food at the “virtual” party. Kind of a virtual potluck. Because of these things, I’d like to argue that cooking blogs have created their own virtual world; they may have started as a mere liquid network, but now that food bloggers are becoming friends with other food bloggers, who they’ve never met, yet speak affectionately of, they believe this world they have created is real. Due to this factor, I would liken food to the gold standard; for food bloggers, cooking has become a signifying practice. A beautiful picture of food is worth more than the actual prepared dish itself. Therefore, whereas normally a recipe title would be the signifier for the prepared food once it has been cooked (the signified), now the signified has become a picture of the food (which, one could argue, could be the signifier as well…?). Food bloggers are blurring the lines between actual reality and virtual reality. Therefore, for my project, I plan on monitoring some of these food blogging relationships, “attending” a couple virtual dinner parties, and, through my research, developing a clear, substantial thesis for a research paper as my final project.
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