Crunch my Heart! It Falls for you: Carnal-singularity and Chocolate Gift-giving across Language Contexts
Mäkelä, Marjaana; Bettany, Shona; Stevens, Lorna (2019)
© 2019 Taylor & Francis
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This chapter augments consumer culture theorizing around subject-object relations with a feminist intervention into how materiality is conceptualized. It introduces the material-semiotic concept of carnal-singularity, drawing on the work about singularity in consumer culture research (Epp and Price 2010; Belk and Coon 1993; Kopytoff 1986) to recover the body as a significant materiality in analyses of object agency in the context of chocolate gift giving. Materiality and chocolate has a long, complex and interesting history, and chocolate is inextricably semiotically linked with carnality. We develop that understanding by exploring the processes by which the body of the woman (gifter or recipient) imbues the chocolate, in order to enhance our understanding of the giving and consumption of chocolate. This process is re-conceptualized as the carnal-singularity of chocolate. By using online data in three languages, French, Finnish and English, we demonstrate how the carnal-singularity of chocolate shifts across language contexts, and how this reflects gendered and sexualized cultural and societal structures.