Year of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)


Department of Humanities and Creative Writing

Principal Supervisor

Tam, Daisy


Food ; Instagram (Firm) ; Photography of food ; Social aspects




This thesis investigates the cultural politics of taste in contemporary food media of Hong Kong through the lens of foodie stylistics on Instagram. By bearing on the semiotic theory and analysis by Roland Barthes, this research seeks to closely examine the mythmaking of taste in foodie criticism--the food and restaurant review written by foodies on social media platform. The theory will be used to spell out the layered meaning of foodie criticism: a linguistic depiction of food, visual stylistic of writing about taste, tactics of gaining voice of authority by foodie critics and their intention of writing. Considering taste as a cultural and social construct, the present research examines the pivotal role of foodie critics as mythmakers that render and stylize taste on Instagram, which mythologizes the intention of writing and complicates how voice of authority can be accumulated and how monopolized power of food media corporate can be further expanded invisibly. Through semiotic analysis, how taste is represented and informed by the mythmaker linguistically, how food trends are set stylistically to attract and affect the audience, as well as how attraction accumulates the voice of authority and engenders problems of self-branding, commercialization and collusion will become apparent. Finally, the findings of this pilot research of Hong Kong foodies will contribute to the understanding of cultural politics of contemporary food criticism media in the social media era.


Principal supervisor: Doctor Daisy Tam ; Thesis submitted to the Department of Humanities and Creative Writing ; Thesis (M. Phil.)--Hong Kong Baptist University, 2019.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 197-201).