07 Dec '11, 5pm

Potato chip advertising is a perfect metaphor for income inequality, says science

Potato chip advertising is a perfect metaphor for income inequality, says science

A study just published in Gastronomica proves that appealing to our tribal identifications is hardly the sole domain of liquor and cigarettes. The authors use "the language of food to examine the representation of socioeconomic class identity in contemporary America by comparing the advertising language on expensive bags of potato chips with that on inexpensive chips." The results: More expensive potato chips are too busy trying to distance themselves from low-class potato chips to even mention how presumably delicious they are. [D]escriptions on expensive chips, unlike on inexpensive chips, are full of comparison (“less fat,” “finest potatoes”) and negation (“not,” “never”’), suggesting a goal of distancing the upper classes from the tastes of lower socioeconomic classes. Surprisingly, both rich-people chips and the kind you get at the corner bodega are equally obsessed w...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-12-07-potato-chip-advertis...

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