Television as a trattoria: Constructing the woman in the kitchen on Italian food shows
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Buscemi, F. (2014) Television as a trattoria: Constructing the woman in the kitchen on Italian food shows, European Journal of Communication, vol. 29, , pp. 304-318,
This article analyses the gender issues raised by the representation of the woman in the kitchen on Italian food TV. In Italy, food and women have always been constructed as a whole, but today this model seems to be redundant. Controversial postfeminist readings of Nigella's cooking shows and Williams' categories of dominant, emergent and residual help investigate, in a constructivist sense, how Italian TV deals with this social change. Through qualitative, semiotic and gender analyses, the article focuses on three Italian food shows broadcast at noon. Results show that the three programmes mediate the role of the woman, drawing on the model of trattorie, traditional Italian restaurants in which the women cook and the men serve the tables. This negotiation helps balance gender relations without revolutionary outcomes. In fact, at the same time, it modernises the old model of the housewife and does not move the woman out of the kitchen. The Author(s) 2014.