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Culture and class in a glass: Scaling the semiofoodscape

Journal article
Authors Johan Järlehed
Máiréad Moriarty
Published in Language & Communication
Volume 62
Pages 26–38
ISSN 0271-5309
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Languages and Literatures
Centre for European Research (CERGU)
Pages 26–38
Language en
Keywords Semiofoodscape, Scale analysis, Class hierarchies, Language regimes, Txakoli, Basque Country, wine
Subject categories Ethnography, Human Geography, Bilingualism, Linguistics


The article puts forward the semiofoodscape as a concept for the study of the interrelationship between food and language. We illustrate the theoretical and analytical value of the concept by unpacking some of the socioeconomic and cultural dynamics involved in the production, marketing and consumption of a Basque wine, Txakoli. We contend that the semiofoodscape both frames and mediates how semiotic resources can be mobilized to these ends and how they operate and for whom they work. Our scale analysis of the Txakoliscape serves to illustrate the complex interaction of place, language, culture and food, and the consequences for class hierarchies, thereby demonstrating the relevance of the semiofoodscape concept for the study of the political economy of multilingualism.

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