College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Food for thought: A critical analysis of gender construction on the food network

Nikki Lawson, DePaul University


This analysis tells the story of the ways in which gender is constructed on the Food Network through a textual analysis and cultural/industrial history. Based on thorough research and analysis of eleven specific series on the network, this paper illuminates the ways in which the Food Network generally reinforces the use and display of socially dominant gender identities. My examination begins with a historical overview of the connections between food, gender, and cooking; three subsequent chapters follow, each of which focuses on the ways in which gender is constructed for specific groups: the white women and men who dominate the network, as well as the hosts who complicate gender binaries through differences of race and age.